Clamshell Falls is a waterfall located at the end of the Behana Gorge Waterfall Track in the Wooroonooran National Park near Innisfail & Cairns. Here’s a complete guide to hiking in the Behana Gorge & what to expect at Clamshell Falls.
Are you looking for an easy rainforest hike with plenty of opportunities for a freshwater swim, plus a waterfall at the end? I’ve got you covered with this Clamshell Falls and Behana Gorge waterfall guide.
The Behana Gorge is an epic place to spend a day exploring, swimming, and enjoying the tranquillity of the Tropical Far North’s amazing rainforests. You’ll also get opportunities to spot local wildlife, including the elusive southern cassowary which live in the Wooroonooran National Park.
Behana Gorge Canyoneering
While you can visit Behana Gorge independently, by far the best way to experience this place is on an epic canyoneering trip!
The Behana Gorge canyoneering tour is the best-rated canyoning tour in Cairns. It’s really affordable compared to some of the other water activities in the region and is run by professional and sustainable local adventure tour company.
The trip includes:
- Waterfall and gorge abseiling
- Walking guide
- All equipment
Check price: Behana Gorge Adventure Canyoneering Tour
Where is Clamshell Falls?
Clamshell Falls is located in the Behana Gorge, within the Wooroonooran National Park, approximately 35 minutes south of Cairns. The Wooroonooran National Park is quite large, but the gorge picks up on the northern tip near Gordonvale, just off the freeway, making access quick and easy from Cairns.
How to Get to the Behana Gorge Waterfall Walking Track
To get to the Behana Gorge walking track to Clamshell Falls, you’re going to need your own car or transport.
The easiest way is to plug in the Google Maps pin above to direct you before you leave since the pin is accurate. However, phone reception is very spotty once you approach the gorge, so best to have it loaded before.
Head south from Cairns on the Bruce Highway and continue for just over 30 kilometres. Shortly after you pass the prominent Walsh’s Pyramid opposite Gordonvale, there’ll be a sign to turn right on Behana Gorge Road.
Follow Behana Gorge Road for approximately 4.5 kilometres, or all the way to the end of the road. You will know when you’re at the Behana Gorge walking track when you notice the large clearing car park with water service fences and a large pipe.
On the way back to the highway, you’ll get some of the best views available of Walsh’s Pyramid’s south face framed by the cane fields on Behana Gorge Road.
Behana Gorge Waterfall Track: Hiking Guide
Once you arrive at the pin above, you will find the Behana Gorge trailhead to Clamshell Falls behind a steel gate beside some fenced off council water property. The track follows the catchment water pipe for 3.3 KM on an entirely sealed track.
While it’s technically more of a road than a bushwalking track, the rainforest setting, combined with the scenic views of the rapid gorge waters below, makes it an enjoyable hike.
For this hike, you really won’t have any problem navigating to Clamshell Falls. Just follow the sealed path beside the pipe as it dips and climbs on an overall rising profile up the length of the Behana Gorge.
On the way, there are great opportunities to swim in gentle forest waterholes along the creek. Although I’ve only been in winter, I’d assume they’d be pretty busy from Cairns and Innisfail locals in the hot summer months.
What to Expect at Clamshell Falls
When you reach the end of the Behana Gorge walking track, you’ll notice a small signpost and a large fence that blocks the path. This signifies the entrance to the Cairns Behana Gorge water catchment facility.
To get to Clamshell Falls, you’ll need to walk back a few hundred metres on the track, where you’ll find a worn trail leading down to the rocks along the creek.
From here, it’s obvious as to where to spot the waterfall.
Clamshell Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls that flow down the steep upper reaches of the gorge. Its source is a flowing creek that gathers off the western slopes of Mount Bellenden Ker, Queensland’s second tallest mountain. The main pool underneath the waterfall is very deep, and perfect for swimming in on a calm day.
Just remember that the water level can change quickly on Behana Creek and at Clamshell Falls. I definitely wouldn’t want to be swimming in any part of the Behana Gorge after a heavy downpour.
Swimming at Clamshell Falls
The best swimming spot at Clamshell Falls is the wide and deep natural pool just below the main waterfall. I couldn’t tell you for sure how deep the pool is, but I’d say it’s at least 3-4 metres. This makes it perfect for a dip on a hot summer’s day, especially after the hike up.
If you continue further downstream on the banks of the creek, you’ll also find some crystal clear swimming holes and natural spa pools.
The Behana Gorge Water Catchment
The large water pipe that follows the length of the Behana Gorge walking track all the way to Clamshell Falls stems from the fenced-off catchment area.
The Behana Gorge Water Catchment is part of Cairns Regional Council and provides fresh water to the entire greater Cairns area.
Cairns Waterfall Tours
|Most-booked waterfall tour from Cairns||$115||Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Crater Lakes|
|Cheapest Atherton Tablelands Waterfall Tour||$107||Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Dinner Falls, Curtain Fig Tree|
|2D1N Waterfall and Atherton Camping||$251||Barron Falls, Lake Eacham, Overnight Camping, Peterson Creek (platypus viewing), Curtain Fig Tree, Josephine Falls|
Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay
Planning a trip to Cairns and wondering where to base yourself? Below I’ve listed some of the best options near Cairns Esplanade. I’ve also written a comprehensive accommodation guide to Cairns, so make sure to check that out too before you book! Also, if you’re looking to stay in Port Douglas, I’ve got some tips on finding great accommodation deals there too.
LUXURY RESORT WITHOUT THE PRICE TAG – Rydges Resort
This hotel offers the best bang-for-buck. In terms of an epic stay for a decent price! The location is perfect, close to the esplanade and features include three swimming pools, two tennis courts, a jacuzzi, a fitness centre and even an award-winning restaurant.
BEST 5-STAR LUXURY HOTEL: Pullman Reef Hotel Casino
If luxury and location are what you’re after, you can’t beat the Pullman. It’s rated Cairns’ best hotel and features restaurants, a pool, live music gigs and even a casino! If nightlife is your thing, don’t go past this one.
STAY ON THE ISLANDS: Fitzroy Island Resort
If you’d rather sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands, look no further than the Fitzroy Island Resort. While you can get out here on a day trip, I highly recommend spending the night so you get more time to explore the reef, coral beaches and rainforest walking trails.
BEST BUDGET HOSTEL WITH A POOL – Gilligan’s Backpackers
The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns is Gilligan’s Backpackers. This one has a swimming pool, AC, a complete kitchen and a great common area to meet other travellers.
More Cairns Waterfalls, Hikes and Adventures
If you enjoyed hiking in the Behana Gorge to Clamshell Falls in one of Queensland’s best National Parks; The Wooroonooran, then make sure to check out some of my other travel guides and articles.
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For a list of all my camera, hiking, and backpacking gear and where to find them at the best prices, visit my shop.
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