While the lower section of Bell Creek is well known, an excellent overnight trip can be had by entering the creek high up and following it all the way down to Mt Wilson. The upper section of the creek has a number of long stretches of canyon which are spectacular in their own right. The notes given are briefer than normal, as parties need to be more self reliant.
Leave a car at the Fire Station at Mt Wilson and drive to Watertrough Hill on Bells Line of Road. Head ENE to the first 1019 knoll, and then north along the ridge. Find a way into the creek near the creek junction at MGA503896, or try and make your way in via the side canyon that joins at MGA507895 (20m handline needed).
The canyon starts at the junction at MGA507895. There are numerous narrow sections, mostly involving swims. Some are quite long. A large chockstone at one point requires a bit of a duckunder, or if the water level is high, a tricky climb over.
There is a camp cave opposite the creek junction at MGA525901 which is a good spot to stay the night. This is the usual entry point for the lower section of Bell Creek.
Continue downstream through the large boulder scramble to the spectacular lower canyon section and on to the junction with Du Faur Creek.
At the Du Faur Creek junction, continue downstream to the Wollangambe and out to the saddle at the sharp bend at MGA543914 or head up Du Faur Creek and up Joes Canyon at MGA543906.
- Difficulty: M
- Abseils: No
- Longest abseil: NA
- Quality: 10/10
- Time: 9-12 hours
- Distance: 12km
- Ascent: 300m
- Wetsuits: Lilos
- Maps: 8930-1N Mount Wilson, 8931-2S Wollangambe
An outstanding canyon. The upper sections are narrow with plenty of long swims, though the canyon walls are not particularly high near the beginning. With an early start, it is feasible to do the whole of Bell Creek as a day trip, though you would not want to take lilos in this case. There are also some exit points to the south, back on to the ridge, which you can then follow back to Bells Line of Road. This makes it feasible to do shorter sections.
The bottom section is superb, though very cold. After the camp cave, lilos are more hindrance than help until you reach the main canyon section.
Some parties will find a handline useful, but abseiling gear is not required.
Some would argue that this is not really Bell Creek Complete, as there are mild canyon sections higher in the headwaters.