The Bilpin Story

Lieutenant Archibald Bell Snr arrived in Australia in 1807 with his young family, including then three-year-old Archibald Bell Jnr. He was granted land at North Richmond where he developed the property "Belmont".

Being in the colony during the tempestuous years of the Bligh rebellion, Bell Snr. became entangled in the affair and had to return to England to give evidence in what was known as the "Rum Mutiny" – the only successful armed takeover of government in Australia's history. This left his wife to look after the family and the homestead.

Archibald Jnr. grew up in "Belmont" and even as a young man had a reputation as an experienced bushman and adventurer. He became involved in exploration, opening up new areas and worked closely with the local Aborigines (Darug people). In 1823, with his Aborigine guides, "Cocky" and "Emery", he discovered the route across the Blue Mountains from Richmond to Mount Tomah through what is today known as Bilpin and Bell's Line of Road. A number of other important local landmarks bear his name – Mount Bell, Bell Range and the town of Bell. On his return to Sydney, Archibald Bell reported the richness of the soil in Bilpin and this inevitably led to the arrival of settlers eager to grow fruit in this new region. It was from these beginnings that Bilpin developed its reputation as Australia's premium apple orchard and subsequently became known as "The Land of the Mountain Apple".

Today Bilpin sits in the middle of world heritage locations, majestic rivers, six national parks and countless heritage buildings. The regions supply of quality fresh fruit & vegetables is matched by some of the most beautiful gardens in Australia.