Situated in the remote northeast corner of Tasmania, Derby was first settled back in 1874 under the name, Brother's Home. In the early days, it was regarded as a small mining town with a reputation for producing a lucrative amount of tin, which inevitably lead to its population surge of 3,000 residents by the end of the Nineteenth Century. With the influx of settlers & workers, the town eventually renamed itself Derby—a nod to the residents' English lineage—and developed a short rail line to neighbouring towns. Perhaps built more out of industrial necessity than convenience, the rapid progress of building and expansion foreshadowed the construction of the Cascade Dam and its containment of nearly 188 million gallons of water.
In 1929, after severe, heavy rains, the dam burst, releasing a 12-foot wave of water that flooded the town and the Briseis Mine—the mine behind the dam's construction. The 14 lives lost in the incident marked the only dam break in Australia's history to result in the loss of human life, marring the town in tragedy. In the resulting aftermath, the mines reopened, but closed in the late 1940s. And roughly half a century later, the railway followed suit. Today, the town of Derby enjoys a remote existence that's more in touch with its natural surroundings and history. It's a popular stop along the journey from Launceston to the East Coast, and it plays host to interpretive hiking trails, like the Trail of the Tin Dragon, gem hunting, and of course, a network of mountain bike trails that Troy Brosnan proclaims are "some of the best trails I've ever been on."