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 tranquility 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.
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 Behana 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.
Tip: Visiting Cairns without your own transport? By far, the best way to explore the Tropical North freely is to rent a car! I recommend using RentalCars.com, which is a great price-comparison website to help you find the best local deals. If you’re planning a more extended trip or prefer a budget camper, I’ve had great experiences with Spaceships Rentals.
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.
GPX Map and Hiking Data
Here is a GPX map generated from my recent hike using my Garmin GPS watch. You can download the GPX file by clicking the link below. However, the Behana Gorge walking track is very easy to follow and almost impossible to get lost, it’s probably just more useful for basic hiking data.
Cairns: Essential Travel Resources
Find Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? Currently, the best and easiest way to find cheap flights are to use Skyscanner. This works by comparing all of the available fares across every airline to help you compare flights in one place.
Finding the Best Deals On Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals. I always search using the map feature to find accommodation in the best locations. Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll use Airbnb.
TIP: For the best hostels, I usually compare reviews on Hostelworld, then check other booking sites to compare prices and deals.
Book Tours and Transport Online To Save Money
You already know that I prefer independent travel. In saying that, sometimes the best and cheapest way to get things done is to just book a tour or package. For Australia, I always use Klook, Viator and Get Your Guide.
Finding a Car in Australia
Having a car or camper is the best way to travel Australia. You can compare rental car deals on RentalCars.com, or use Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and CarSales to purchase a car for longer trips.
Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking epic cairns adventures over poolside sips. By far, my two favorite companies for the most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads and SafetyWing. If you’re on the fence, you can read the comparison article.
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 the Behana creek and at Clamshell Falls. I definitely wouldn’t want to be swimming here 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 how deep the pool is, but I’d say it’s at least 3-4 metres deep. 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
BEST BUDGET HOSTEL WITH A POOL FOR $19 A NIGHT – MAD MONKEY BACKPACKERS
The best budget backpacker option in Cairns is Mad Monkey Backpackers. This one has a swimming pool, AC, a complete kitchen and even free bike hire to take you around Cairns. There are also three locations, but we thought that the village was the best. They also organise plenty of things to do in Cairns straight form the hostel.
BUDGET HOSTEL CLOSEST TO THE ESPLANADE FOR $26 A NIGHT –YHA CAIRNS CENTRAL HOSTEL
If you’re looking to stay close to Cairns center, then you can’t beat YHA Central. It’s only a 5-minute walk to the esplanade and situated right near pubs and supermarkets. There’s also a pool and two spas, with a free breakfast included.
SLEEP ON A BOAT IN CAIRNS HARBOUR – BOATEL CAIRNS
If you’re looking for a unique stay in Cairns, then you can’t get much more unusual than staying at a “boatel”. It’s located 1 KM from Cairns and only a 6-minute walk from Cairns Rainforest Dome. The boat has free WiFi, AC, a bar and even a TV in the room.
Behana Gorge Canyoneering
Another popular activity at Behana Gorge is to go on a canyoneering trip. Below I’ve linked to the best canyoneering trip that I could find online.
The canyoneering trip is run by passionate Cairns locals and includes:
- Waterfall and gorge abseiling
- Walking guide
- All equipment
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. I’ve spent a long time exploring some of the best waterfalls, hikes, and things to do around Cairns. So, if you’re looking for some adventure inspo, take a look!
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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.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means We Seek Travel may be compensated if you click on them. However, I value my readers and only recommend products, tours, or experiences that I personally recommend.