Bell Gorge resides within a conservation area of the stunning King Leopold Ranges in central Kimberley.
Situated off the Gibb River Road, Bell Gorge is regarded as one of the top gorges to visit in this spectacular region of northwest Australia, noted for its classic cascading waterfalls over red sandstone ledges.
The main set of falls has the freshest of waters plunging over horseshoe-shaped steps into a large, cool pool perfect for swimming, while wide flanking ledges entice sunbathers. Though it can get busy in the main tourist season, there are smaller falls, rapids and even beaches to track down away from the crowds.
And indeed, Bell Gorge does get busy in the main season, such that you may need to wait in line before you’re able to enter. The best time to visit Bell Gorge is thus not long after the last of the main wet season rains, in April or May, and before the tourist hordes arrive. You’ll get lots of water over the falls, blue skies and fewer people.
In addition, there is better scope for bird watching and fishing as well as for snapping great pictures. There is a lodge to stay at just outside the confines of the park along Gibb River Road, as well as campgrounds, though most people stay at hotels in Derby or Broome.
King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park occupies a vast area of mountain ranges, gorges and creeks, also encompassing Windjana Gorge National Park and Tunnel Creek National Park. The Derby Gibb River Road cuts a swathe right through this region, allowing for relatively straightforward access.
Access is chiefly by four-wheel drive, with the turn off around three hours from Derby, or five to six hours from Broome. The drive from Gibb River Road to the gorge at Bell’s car park is about 30kms. Be aware that the approach road to Bell Gorge is closed in the wet season, where the only option then is to take a scenic flight.