The bell rapids are located in the Swan Valley just east of Perth, Western Australia. They are at a point where the Avon and Swan rivers meet, causing a rush of water through the valley.
At just 1 hours drive from Perth this is a popular location for walks, picnics and family days out. I arrived early in the day and there was only a couple of cars in the carpark. By the time I left around lunch time the car park was full.
Walking around Bell Rapids
From the carpark it is a short walk to the bridge which crosses the river. This is a great spot to stop and take some photos. On the other side of the bridge there are some sign posts directing you along the walks.
This PDF file will give you an idea of the possible routes you can take; Walk_Trail_Bells_Rapids. They range from just 1km to 5.5km.
Some of the routes take you along the river giving many vantage points for good shots of the rapids, other routes lead you into the bush and up the surrounding hills. Here you can look out for an array of wildlife including kangaroos, water birds and insects.
5 Good Spots for Photographing the Bell Rapids
- The entrance to the carpark, at the top of the hill. There is actually a path to your left which leads down to the river. There are some large boulders here on the edge of the water.
- In the carpark. Don’t go straight to the bridge as most of the visitors will do, instead make your way to the river then find your way through the bush and over rocks to the bridge. There is many good points here to capture great landscapes of the river and rapids.
- From the bridge. This is your chance to get close to the rushing water. Use a zoom lens to get close up shots of the water flowing over the rocks. Use a wide angle lens to show the width and power of the river.
- On the riverside walk. There are many spots here where you can stop to get good shots of the river.
- On the Circular route/goat route. Look out for wildlife, birds insects and maybe a kangaroo.
More Useful Information
- The car park is accessed from Cathedral Avenue, Brigadoon 6069
- The best time for photography is in Summer because the colours are brighter
- The best time for volume of water is late winter and into spring
- Sometimes the area can be closed off due to risk of bush fires
- This is the location of the Avon Decent, which happens in August every year.
- You can swim in the river, but be sensible the water can be rough at times.