Bell, New South Wales: Travel guide and things to do

Located 130 km northwest of Sydney via the Great Western Highway (take the turnoff at Mount Victoria) Bell's primary claim to importance is as a small village on the junction between Bells Line of Road and the Great Western Highway.

The town was named after Archibald Bell, Jr. who also gave his name to Mount Bell, Bell Range, Bell's Line of Road and Bilpin which was originally named 'Belpin'. The reason for this enthusiastic desire to enshrine Bell's name in just about everything is because, in 1823, Archibald Bell, Jr, when he was only nineteen, crossed the mountains along what was to become Bell's Line of Road. This was not a solitary achievement. Sensibly he used the knowledge of the local Aborigines who had been crossing the mountains for tens of thousands of years. Although the mountains has been crossed at Katoomba a decade earlier, there was still no satisfactory route through the mountains from Richmond at this time. Bell reached Mount Tomah on his first attempt but could not find a way across the mountains. On his second attempt he followed the ridge across to the present site of Bell and from there made his way down into Hartley Vale where he joined up with Cox's road.

Today Bell is really nothing more than a small village where travellers, eager to travel across to Mount Victoria and Katoomba, turn left.

Things to see

Pierces Pass
About 10 km east of Bell, along Bells Line of Road, is a road on the right which takes the visitor to Pierces Pass. The picnic area is the start of two walks: an easy trek to Walls Lookout (2.5 km return), which offers outstanding views of the Grose Valley, and the difficult Blue Gum Forest Walk (6 km one way), which provides access into the Grose Valley.

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