Exploring Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids may be best known for being the best vantage spot to watch the annual Avon Descent Race, but it makes for an equally good visit  any time of the year.

Located off Great Northern Highway in Brigadoon, Bells Rapids is a lovely spot for a picnic, bush walking and getting a healthy dose of nature. In season, wildflowers abound such as the Fuchsia Grevillea. There are also plenty of kangaroos in the area, as well as an abundance of birds.

Best of all, is that it’s a short drive from  the best attractions in the Swan Valley. For me this means that the walk trails provide a perfect way to build up an appetite for an indulgent winery lunch later on.

The walk bridge will take you across the rapids. This is where all the action happens during the Avon Descent. The water levels can vary a huge amount depending on the time of the year.
The walk bridge  takes you across the rapids. This is where all the action happens during the Avon Descent. The water levels varies a large amount depending on the time of the year with most of it drying up towards the end of the summer. 

Big and small kids will have fun jumping on the rocks and exploring the river banks. Parents, beware though, they will definitely get wet and take extra caution along the waterfront as the water flow can be vigorous at times.

On a hot day there are several rock pools along the river that make for an inviting dip. If you do go for a dip, take care as the river can have strong undercurrents.

For dog owners, Bells Rapids comes with the extra bonus that dogs are permitted. Your four-dogged bestie will have just as much fun as you exploring this beautiful area.

Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids

Walk Trails

There are several walk trails around Bells Rapids and adjacent Jumpbuck Hill including the 2.5km River Walk and the slightly longer Goat Walk.

The longest walk is the 5.5km circuit walk, which boasts panoramic views of the river valley and coastal plains.

Bells Rapids Walk Trail

Bells Rapids Walk Trail

The circuit walk takes about 1-2 hours and includes some steep ascents, so make sure you’re wearing sturdy footwear. For detailed trail notes about the circuit walk, visit the  Life of Py here.

On my last visit, the trail markers were either hard to find or those in place where hard to read. If you go, I suggest that you download a map here.

Hints and Tips

  • Bells Rapids is located at the end of Cathedral Avenue, off Great Northern Highway in Brigadoon. Follow the gravel road to the main car park area. Once there, you can continue along the gravel road to get closer to the walk bridge, however, beware that there is a steep descent ahead if you do this.
  • The water level will depend on the season. During the drier summer months, there may be little water in the river.
  • Take care near the water as the water can flow quite heavily, especially during the winter and there are several strong undercurrents.
  • Amentities include toilet blocks. There are no barbecue facilities or table and chairs at Bells Rapids.
  • This area gets busy during weekends and on public holidays. For tranquility, it’s best to visit during the week.
  • Dogs are permitted

You may also like:

The Dog’s Guide to Margaret River

How to spend a day in the Swan Valley 

8 Awesome dog friendly bushwalks near Perth 

4 thoughts on “Exploring Bells Rapids

    1. It’s a great place to visit without leaving the city too far behind. I generally prefer going somewhere coastal but am just starting to appreciate these bush settings a lot more.

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