A day out at Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids Bridge

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 day trip from Perth any time of the year.

Located off Great Northern Highway in Brigadoon, Bells Rapids is a lovely spot for a picnic, bushwalking 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 Bells Rapids is a short drive from the best attractions in the Swan Valley. For me, this means that the  Bells Rapid walk trails provide a perfect way to build up an appetite for an indulgent winery lunch later on.

Bells Rapids BridgeExploring Bells Rapids

The Bells Rapids bridge takes you across the rapids. This is where all the action happens during the Avon Descent. The water levels vary 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.

Exploring Bells RapidsOn a hot day, there are several rock pools along the river that makes for an inviting dip. If you do go swimming at Bells Rapids, take care as the river can have strong undercurrents.

Dog owners will be happy to know that you can take dogs to Bells Rapids and makes for a perfect dog-friendly walking trail in Perth. Your four-dogged friends will have just as much fun as you exploring this beautiful area.

Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids

Bells Rapids Walk Trail

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.

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

Bells Rapids Picnic Area

The Bells Rapids Picnic area is at the end of the Cathedral Avenue.  Amenities include toilet blocks. There are no barbecue facilities or table and chairs at Bells Rapids. On weekends, there is a food van at Bells Rapids, selling coffee, ice cream and snacks. There are no other options to buy food or coffee otherwise.

How to get to Bells Rapids

  • Bells Rapids in Perth 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.

Hints and Tips

  • 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.
  • This area gets busy during weekends and on public holidays. For tranquillity, it’s best to visit during the week.
  • Dogs are permitted at Bells Rapids.
  • There is no camping at Bells Rapids.
  • Facilities are limited to one toilet block. There are no picnic tables, public BBQs or kiosk or cafe.

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 



  1. Aaron says:

    You don’t have to go too far to see amazing places like this. I think the only time I’ve been to Bells Rapids is for the Avon, as you mention!

    • Nina B says:

      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.

  2. […] Take a walk and picnic at Bells Rapids. […]

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.