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 Bells Rapids is 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 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.
For dog owners, Bells Rapids comes with the extra bonus that dogs are permitted. Your four-dogged friends will have just as much fun as you exploring this beautiful area.
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.
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.
- There is a food truck selling coffee, ice cream and snacks that is usually there on weekends. There are no other options to buy food or coffee.
- 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
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