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The degree that turns your passion into a thriving business

Tara Howell combined her love of mountain biking with business savvy to create a luxury adventure experience that’s already riding high.


A deep love of the Tasmanian wilderness courses through Tara Howell’s veins. So when it came to fusing her passion for nature with what she was good at, Tara hit upon a business idea that offered the best of both worlds: luxury mountain biking with a light footprint.

Thanks to a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Accounting at the University of Tasmania, Tara succeeded in bringing her vision to market in an intelligent and beautiful way.

“I have always been a northern Tasmanian girl, and a Tasmanian at heart, really. And I’ve had this thing for the north of the state and particularly the north east of Tasmania. I used to mountain bike a lot up here when the trails weren’t so premium and world-class and found myself coming back and adventuring through all these valleys and just loving this place. Then I started my professional career and to look into tourism, branding, marketing and the outdoors,” Tara explains

It felt right in my heart that it should be in the north east of Tasmania. A luxury adventure mountain biking experience.

Blue Derby Pods Ride is the result; a unique luxury adventure experience that’s receiving rave reviews. For Tara, gaining skills in both accounting and marketing was key to building a business that’s professionally and personally rewarding.

“You need to understand your numbers and your promotion to be able to run a business. That’s pretty black and white.”

I look back and what I learnt at the University of Tasmania, it set the foundations for me to help me build a beautiful brand and take that to market in a really considered way.

Knowing your market is more important than ever in the current climate. Businesses have been forced to pivot, enticing locals to explore their own backyard while planning for a tourism boom post-COVID. Tara has used her marketing mindset to make better business choices and keep her finger on the pulse.

“By studying marketing I was able to start thinking not just about the product, but how am I going to take this to market, is there a market there etc. You have a different mindset once you’ve had a chance to study marketing advertising. If only all business owners had this opportunity.”

I can think of theories and lectures that I have literally referred to help me take this business to market... So I genuinely have a lot to thank the University of Tasmania for.

Ensuring your business is viable while having the confidence to boldly depart from the norm is something Tara can attest to. Blue Derby Pods Ride taps into Tassie’s natural appeal while taking boutique accommodation and wilderness connection to the next level, standing out in a competitive market.

“We try to make people disconnect from their world that they live in when they come here, and it’s the little subtle things, like no power points or mirrors not in the pods. We try to make people look out, not in. We want people to look out and around experiencing the environment.”

“People get it. Once you’ve spent a couple of hours riding you’ve already forgotten about where you’ve come from, you get into this incredible environment, you stay in these amazing pods and suddenly everything just kind of clicks into place.”

Whatever your passion, turning it into a smart, thriving business starts with a solid foundation of expertise. A Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Accounting gives you the tools and confidence you need to succeed.

Are you interested in study Business at the University of Tasmania? Find out more