The tiny riverside village of Derby is a quaint surprise on the winding country drive from Launceston to the East Coast.

Overlooking the Ringarooma River in a landscape of mountains and rainforest, Derby is a classified historic town that's small on scale but big on stories.

Once a booming mining settlement, Derby's Tin Dragon Interpretation Centre tells of the town's early days when it was known as Brother's Home and was the setting for an epic tin rush that saw thousands of eager miners flock to the area.

The centre is a key stopping point on the Trail of the Tin Dragon, an interpretation trail that reveals the trials and tribulations of Chinese tin mining in the area.

The Blue Lake near town is a unique attraction. Once a mine hole, the lake now reflects a stunning aqua blue from the minerals at the bottom of the lake. Canoeing, fishing and boating are popular on this and other nearby lakes.

Gem hunters should keep their eyes peeled for smokey quartz, topaz and amethyst too. In town, there are several antiques, second-hand, and craft shops to explore and traditional Devonshire teas for a morning or afternoon treat.

And for the more adventurous there's a nearby world-class mountain biking trail network with trails starting from within the town itself.

Step into the past and explore the vibrant mining and social history of the picturesque township of Derby in Tasmania's North East. The Derby Schoolhouse Museum is a local history museum situated in the heritage school building, which was built in 1897. The Museum's collection includes many photographs, documents and artefacts dating from the early days of European settlement in the region, with a focus on the mining era. There is also a replica school room which is furnished with desks and other items from the Derby State School, including exercise and copy books which belonged to students of the school, dating back over 100 years, a small but poignant display of World War I and World War II items, and much more. A good spot to take a break on your journey, talk to some local residents, and learn about the region.