Cascade Dam & The Derby Tunnel

Posted by

Here’s a hypothetical for all you blokes … Imagine you’re camping out in the bush somewhere with the family, you wander out of the campsite and up the access track to have a slash, and you get so intent on your target practice with a particular bush (you know what I’m talking about, don’t pretend you don’t) that you don’t notice a cyclist riding down the trail towards you until he is just a few metres away … you’re facing him straight on … what do you do?

I’d like to think that I’d quickly turn aside, be a bit embarrassed, and try and make some poor joke about it …

But that’s not what happened today … today I got to see a grown man get so surprised by my appearance that he shoved his you know what back in his pants … and unless he has the worlds most amazing bladder control or was wearing an adult diaper … I’m pretty sure he would have wet them.

That is a sight I never wish to witness again as long as I live.

Thankfully, I can assign the blame for this mishap on Peter Bird (who provided me with another GPS route, this time of an alternate track from Cascade Dam down to Derby) and Oliver Walters (who put the idea of visiting Mount Paris Dam in my head) which meant that instead of doing a normal loop up from Derby, I instead parked my car up near Mount Paris Dam and then rode down to Derby … which was a really stupid idea because after lunch in Derby I then had to ride all the way back up again …  but it seemed like genius at the time.

But, after yet another unnecessarily long introduction, back to my main point … for anyone looking for another cool track in the Blue Tier area there is a great little track that runs down from Cascade Dam (which is worth a visit in its own right) …

… back to Derby.  It is a lovely little track … fast, open and free flowing with some lovely rock drops and track options that invite the less technically minded amongst us to play in a forgiving environment …

That is until it plummets down a steep, rock strewn plunge that will have all but the most hardcore downhill riders pushing their bikes down the hill (to be honest I think everyone will be pushing their bikes, but I’m often proven wrong).

Once you get down this short section though, it is then another easy, mainly downhill, cruise to Derby, with the added bonus of a short (5 minute) detour down to the Derby Tunnel which is well worth a visit (especially if unlike me you think to bring a good torch) …  there’s also a lovely little spot (right at the bottom of the steep hill) where you can walk out to the creek and explore the rock pools …

Looking back up at the descent … it looks scarier in real life.
Rock pools at bottom of steep hill
Small ford, didn’t even get wet feet.
Old equipment outside Derby Tunnel
Derby Tunnel
Derby Tunnel
Derby Tunnel

I was greatly relieved to find that there was a cafe (The Arts Cafe) open on Easter Sunday when I got into town, so I got to replenish my rather depleted energy levels with a chicken burger and latte, and as an added bonus found an information sheet which explains a bit more about the Derby Tunnel …

I also got to have a great laugh to myself, sitting there in my sweaty cycling gear, covered in mud and blood just happy to find a shop open in Dergby on an Easter Sunder when four, very smartly dressed young ladies  walked in and went up to the counter and asked if the tea and coffee was gluten free …  now  it could be true that one or more of them has celiac disease, but it just seemed such a wrong question to be asking in Derby, Tasmania.

Fortunately they left when the lady said she had no idea and I was left to finish my latte in peace.

Then it was just the ride back up the hill …

… the hill that never seemed to end, and once back at my car, I checked out the weather forecast for the next day and decided it wasn’t looking promising, and the prospect of spending a night in my own bed seemed very appealing … and that’s exactly where I was four and a half hours of driving later.

Thus ended my brief weekend up in the North East … now what to do next weekend?


  1. Hi John, I was wondering if you would give me permission to use two of your photos from the Derby post. I am starting a blog and Facebook page and I'm writing a post on the history of Derby and the flood. If you would like to look at them they are
    It would be great if you could like my FB page if you like it, or share it with other people. And it would be great to be able to use some of your photos. I would insert a link and credit. All the best, Joanna Baker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.