Dalmanyi (Bell Gorge): Everything You Need To Know

byAlex Pantazis
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The King Leopold Ranges have been renamed the Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges, a name that now rightfully reflects the Aboriginal culture and heritage of the region; located within the range is the popular Dalmanyi (Bell Gorge), a beautiful, cascading waterfall.

What is it?
Bell Gorge is a stunning waterfall and is the perfect spot to spend the day  – whether it’s soaking up the views of the red sandstone gorge from the infinity pool at the top of the falls, or swimming and exploring the deep, crystal clear plunge pool below. 

Where is it?
Dalmanyi (Bell Gorge) is found in the West Kimberley, along the Gibb River Road, and it’s one of the first waterfalls to stop at when heading east along the Gibb. Bell Gorge is a few hours from Derby (about 240 km), and that stretch of the Gibb River Road takes you through the beautiful Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges. Keep an eye out for the turn off on the left – from there it’s around another 30 kms to the waterfall, with Silent Grove campground along the way.

What to do?
Swim, float or soak up the sun! From the car park it’s only a short one kilometre walk to access the falls – follow the trail down the hill, past the small creek crossing, and you’ll soon emerge at the picture perfect infinity pool. Here you can swim right up to the edge of the falls or explore the upper pool. Otherwise, for those wanting to swim or enjoy the view from the lower pool, cross over the top of the falls and continue on to the left down a steep, rocky path to access the bottom pool and swim beneath the falls.

What not to do:
Take any risks when it comes to swimming (or jumping and diving) – you’re a very long way from help. While it’s safe to swim here (no salt-water crocodiles here) the rocks around the water can become slippery so watch where you step. Be careful when making your way into the lower plunge pool – the steep, smooth rocks are super slippery near the water’s edge so it’s easiest to sit and shuffle in. As always, take plenty of water with you and don’t leave any rubbish behind.

Anything else:
Silent Grove campground is located about 10 kms from Bell Gorge and bookings for campsites can be made online up to 180 days in advance. Bell Gorge (and the Gibb River Road) is usually open between May – October and is inaccessible during the wet season (typically around November to April). Check in with the Derby or Kununurra visitor centres before you go for season opening dates and road closures.

Until June 2020, the Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges were known as the King Leopold Ranges named after the Belgian King, despite him never having stepped foot in Australia. King Leopold II was responsible for the deaths of millions of people and the extent of his atrocities mean he’s regarded as an “evil tyrant” – yikes! It is now named the Wunaamin-Miliwundi Ranges after consultation with the local traditional owners’ and incorporates the Ngarinyin (Wunaamin) and Bunuba (Miliwundi) traditional names for the region. 

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More like this: 
10 of the Best Swimming Spots in the Kimberley
The Best Spots Along The Gibb River Road
10 North West Adventures To Tick Off Your Bucket List

All research, words & photos by our North-West correspondent @alex.vp.photography (give her a follow on Instagram!)