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.

Don’t Miss: How to Spend 5 Days in Cairns

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 a professional and sustainable local adventure tour company.

The trip includes:

  • Waterfall and gorge abseiling
  • Walking guide
  • Snacks
  • 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.

Google Maps Pin: “Behana Gorge Walking Track”

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.

Walsh’s Pyramid from Behana Gorge Road

Featured in: Awesome Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands

Behana Gorge Waterfall Track: Hiking Guide

Hike Distance: 6.6 kilometres
Duration: 1.5-2 hours
Elevation: 220M total gain (undulating)
Difficulty: Easy

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.

Behana Gorge Cairns

RELATED POST: Cairns Hikes: 36 Best Hikes

Grayl Bottle

Want to know my secret to fresh drinking water anywhere on earth?

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  • Saves thousands of plastic bottles from landfill
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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.

Clamshell Falls – The Cascading Behana Gorge Waterfall

MORE IN THE WOOROONOORAN: Mount Bartle Frere | Kahlpahlim Rock | Nandroya Falls

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.


Related: Epic White Water Rafting Trip from Cairns

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 the Cairns Regional Council and provides fresh water to the entire greater Cairns area.

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, as well as a comprehensive Port Douglas Accommodation guide too.

Crystalbrook Riley – If luxury and location are what you’re after, you can’t beat the Crystalrbook Riley. This is the best 5-star resort in Cairns and features absolutely everything you’d expect from a Crystalbrook resort.

Tip: Make sure to head up to Rocco’s Bar at the top of the Crystalbrook Riley for great views over Cairns!

girl sunbathing at Crystalbrook Riley resort in Cairns

Rydges Resort – This hotel offers excellent 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.


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.


Gilligan’s Backpackers – The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns is Gilligan’s Backpackers. That’s because 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.

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 inspiration, take a look!


For a list of all my recommended photography gear (including what I use and why) check out my guide to camera gear for travel.

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2 thoughts on “Clamshell Falls on the Behana Gorge Waterfall Track – Cairns Hiking Guide”

  1. Hey thanks for such an easy to understand read. Is that hike 6klms return or one way to Clamshell Falls drr me…. cheers Liz

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