The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
A Day of Adventure with Behana Days
Posted on November 16, 2016 by Jordan Squire
As a content writer with The Tour Specialists I’m lucky enough to be invited along on tours to experience them first-hand, so I’m better able to write about and market these experiences to travelers when they visit the Far North Queensland region.
Recently I was able to join the crew at Behana Days on one of their awesome and adventurous canyoning tours down the beautiful Behana Gorge, which lies approximately 45 minutes’ drive south of Cairns in the Wooroonooran National Park.
I learned that the philosophy behind canyoning is to not let any obstacle stop your path so this adventure tour involves using swimming, abseiling, rock-sliding, cliff-jumping and zip-lining to make your way down the Gorge.
As soon as I was picked up the guides Sam and Dom immediately made me feel like part of the Behana Days family and made sure everyone on the tour knew each other’s name – a really warm and friendly start to the day which was extra-appreciated as I was a solo guest that day, so it was nice to make friends straight away.
On the drive from Cairns to Behana the bus makes a short stop in the old sugar-milling town of Gordonvale, where you can make a last toilet stop for the day or pick up some breakfast from the local bakery. I’d recommend grabbing something to eat if you didn’t have a big breakfast as you’ll be needing all your energy on this tour!
Once at Behana Gorge, the tour operator has permission to use the private council road, saving you a 3.2km walk to the top that you’d have to do if you were to visit Behana Gorge by yourself. Along this single lane road through the rainforest the excitement starts to build as the sights and smells of the rainforest begin to tickle your senses and glimpses of the beautiful creek below start to appear out the left side windows of the min-bus.
When you’re almost at the top the bus is parked and the guides provide a safety briefing and run you through the activities that lie ahead. They teach you how to use the abseil rope and you’re able to practice on flat ground to get a feel for it before you’re lowered over a cliff later in the day.
Once everyone is geared up with their harness, wet-suit top, buoyancy vest, helmet and gloves, there is a short walk to the top of the gorge to begin the adventure back down.
The tour kicks off with a walk down through the trees from the road to the top of a cliff above the big, deep pool of clear water below, with a huge waterfall flowing just a few meters to your right. You’re literally thrown in the deep end with the first activity being the cliff-jump down into the water below. The water is super deep and with all your safety gear there is no chance of anything going wrong, so you just have to trust the guides and take the plunge!
Once everyone has jumped down into the water you can swim over under the waterfall – getting a natural massage from the water falling down onto your shoulders and back. The guides are sure to get a photo of everyone with the impressive falls in the background, and this diligent-photo-taking continues throughout the day, with all the photos available for purchase for a very small price at the end of the tour (definitely recommend buying the photos so you can show off your adventure to your family and friends!). Alternatively, if you have your own waterproof camera or GoPro you’re more than welcome to bring this along for the day, just make sure you’ve got a good lanyard or strap so it doesn’t find its way to the bottom of a deep pool!
After some photos at the top waterfall, we swam and rock-hopped down to the location of the first abseil. The rock curves down from horizontal to vertical, so it’s a nice easy introduction to abseiling where you can feel your weight on the rope and get used to the action of lowering yourself before you’re fully hanging on the rope.
After conquering the first abseil we continued making our way down the gorge, swimming and jumping our way between the different pools until we reached a big open section where we would tackle the zip-line.
As we waited in the cool water, Dom went up one side of the gorge to a rock-face high above the water, fixing a rope which would be the start of the zipline. Sam swam the rope across to the other side and fixed the rope to complete the line across the pool. Watching this we all got a little nervous knowing we’d soon be climbing up to then jump off and slide down the rope across the water.
Sitting on the top of the cliff, with the water far below and only a small belt from my harness linking me to the rope, I could feel my heart pumping. The adrenaline rush once I safely landed in the water on the other side was my highlight of the day!
After this we made a quick stop back to the van to grab a snack of fruit and yummy muffins before heading back down to the creek with our energy recharged for the next adventurous activity.
The next abseil is a little more extreme with a vertical drop off and some overhangs on the way down. On this abseil you can do a few jumps on the way down and you really feel like Indiana Jones hanging from a rope in this epic jungle setting!
Once at the bottom of this cliff there is some snorkel gear you can use with some free time to enjoy the crystal-clear water and spot fish, eels and yabbies underwater through your mask. Dom set me the challenge of catching a yabby with my bare hands and he seemed pretty impressed when I came up with one after my first dive – my spearfishing experience paying off!
After everyone had had a good look around with the snorkels we moved on to the last extreme activity for the day – being lowered down off an overhanging rock so you’re hanging completely in mid air above the water. Everyone did their best ‘Spiderman’ impression hanging upside down from the rope. Here we also had the chance to venture into a cave under the waterfall and got a few photos. After checking out a few more caves and swimming under more waterfalls, we slid under a rock into a natural ‘spa’ type pool which was very cool to see!
With all the extreme activities now complete for the day we headed back to the van to take off all the safety gear before heading back down to a beautiful shady area to have lunch next to the water. With about an hour spare you can choose to spend your time swimming, doing more cliff-jumping or just relax in the sun and soak up the immersive beauty of the location.
We all enjoyed the time relaxing in the cool water and swapping stories before the call came to head back to the van for the drive back to Cairns.
Being back in Cairns before 3pm meant there was plenty of daylight left for any other activities or just to enjoy an afternoon nap before heading out to enjoy Cairns nightlife.
Big thanks to the awesome friendly and experienced team at Behana Days for having me along on this great day out in Behana Gorge!
Written by Jordan Squire – Content Strategist with Cairns Holiday Specialists
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