Karnak Canyon

Location - Daintree National Park, Far North Queensland, Australia
Approach Difficulty - Grade 5 (AWTGS)
Grade - V4 A3 III ** (French Grading System)
Total Distance - Approximately 8 km round trip
Total Time - Allow 8 hours for 4-6 people
Approach - 1 hour depending on route
Descent - 2-5 hours
Exit - 1 hour
Elevation loss - 350 m
Flash flooding level - Low
Longest rappel - 85 m

Karnak Canyon is one of the prettier creek to follow in Far North Queensland. This is a tributary of Little Falls Creek and is relatively easy to access for a high reward canyon.

Approach

Hike up the Devils Thumb Track until above R1. Contour around off-track to the top of R1.

Interactive Map

Maps download - ask

Rappels

R1 55m NA-TR/TC

R2 20m NA-TL

R3 35m NA-TR onto slab

R4 10m NA-TR access pitch

R5 85m NA-TR Karnak Falls

Karnak Falls

Can be done as a multi pitch: multi-pitch: NA-TR 65m to NA-TR 20m

False Falls R6 35m NA-TR

Also possible scramble around TL.

Take care in high waters as there is a sieve below the falls.

Exit

From here, rock hop down, passing the weir until reach the start of the Devils Thumb track as per the Karnak Falls track notes.

Notes

Your team should have good navigation skills and appropriate experience.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Experience in abseiling (there are some technical challenges)
  • Enough rope for the longest rappel
  • Rappel devices, prusiks, and webbing
  • Grippy shoes on smooth, wet granite rocks
  • Helmet
  • Backpack
  • Food and snacks for the day
  • About one litre of water to hike to the top and a way to sterilise your water from the creek

Anchoring notes

There are various natural anchors throughout the canyon, however, it is not unusual to come across damaged trees, especially after large flooding events. Please use sound judgement when considering previously installed anchors, like tape slings, ropes, and other textiles. There are no bolts in this canyon.

Surfaces

Along the route there are various sections of wet, slimy, and dry rock, as with all canyon environments. Please be mindful of your traction and regularly test your grip throughout the route as you cannot rely on the colour or texture of the rock to determine its safety against slippage. Take caution when near cliff edges.

Experience

No responsibility or liability is taken for any harm, death or loss of property resulting from the use of this article. You must carry anchor building materials, be experienced and use your own judgement when canyoning. Flooding events can strip anchors and change the canyons layout and conditions. Improper and insufficient experience will result in serious injuries or in many cases death. Always respect all signs you encounter and take everything in you brought with you.

Please read the Beginners' tips for canyoning in North Queensland article.
See our general disclaimer that includes canyoning.

Canyoning Topo

This canyoning topo is for illustration-purposes only.

Karnak Falls / High Falls Creek Tributary Canyoning Topo

Legend

X / XX - Single and twin bolt anchor.
NA - Natural anchor such as a tree or rock.
TL / TR / C - True left, true right and centre when looking downstream.
R1-8m / R2-6m - First rappel and its height in metres, second rappel and height.
Optional - These rappels can be avoided by exiting prior or walking around.

Please note that an activity permit may be required in national parks.

If this information is outdated or you would like to make a correction, please contact us.