Bells Rapids Waterfall: The forgotten waterfall of Perth
And yet, this is one of the highest and one of the most impressive waterfall in Perth (about 25m). How could you miss it? Well, it’s nestled in a valley. If you are standing at Bells Rapids near the bridge, it’s unlikely you would see it. It is best seen from higher up or by train. If you are at the lookout in winter, you would certainly be able to hear the water flowing. (“Yay, there’s a waterfall down there!”).
However, the thing is, this Bells Rapids waterfall is nowhere to be found in a hiking book. The only times it pops up is when there is an Instagram post about it on Perth Is Ok. If you scroll the net, you can find a couple of blog articles about hikes which takes you to the waterfall. Apart from that, it’s total silence. So what is the story of this waterfall?
The old site of Jumbuck Hill Farm
This western part of Bells Rapids, where the Bells Rapids waterfall is located, used to be part of Jumbuck Hill Farm. Hence, the old bathtub for the cattle and the old fences. I am not sure what kind of cattle used to graze on the land. I would think probably goats due to the land being so steep?! Unfortunately, I did not find much information about this old farm. It is now known as Jumbuck Hill Regional Park. This reserve area forms a southern extension to Walyunga National Park. Yet, there is no trail signs on the track and no recent pamphlet.
Coondebung’s Kalleepgurr Heritage Trail
The Nyoongah Community formerly led a group walk which used to encompass the waterfall. From what I have learnt, the trail is also known as Coondebung’s Kalleepgurr Heritage Trail.
According to BWA (Bushwalking WA), “This is not a developed trail. Walks along an informal route were once led by a guide from the Noongar community. The walk pamphlet is no longer readily available, but provides a brief summary of the significance to the Aboriginal people of some natural features and areas in the Brigadoon area. Club walkers and others continue to walk this area.”
Bells Rapids Waterfall in Jumbuck Hill Regional Park is therefore a place of importance for the Noongar community.
If you read the first paragraph in the pamphlet, the trail could only be accessed with a Nyoongah guide. According to the legend, Waugul, a giant snake, carved out the hills and valley on his way from Albany to Brigadoon. In Brigadoon, he urinated and created the present waterfall which can run quite strongly in winter.
Go and explore this beautiful place! I am not sure about crossing the railway track. However it seems that a few people do it. I think the camera is mostly for liability purposes. I hope that you learnt a few things by reading this article and let me know what you think about Bells Rapids waterfall and this walk trail if you have had the opportunity to go!
If you liked this blog post, why not read my Perth Waterfall Guide. And let me know what you think!