Black Hole Canyon (a.k.a. Waterview Canyon)

Location: Paluma Range National Park, North Queensland, Australia
Grade: V4 A3 IV * (French Grading System)
Approach: 3+ hours
Descent: 3 hour for 4-6 people
Exit: 1-3 hours depending on route
Total time: Allow 12-14 hours on first trip
Full course: 20-30 km round trip
Elevation loss: approximately 220 metres
Flash flooding level: medium
First Descentists: Luen Warneke and Annelise Dickson 2017

Abseiling down waterfalls and into pools of water is one of the closest things you can get to a canyoning experience in North Queensland. Another great place is down Crystal Falls to the Intake plant.

Waterview Creek abseil

As you will be abseiling down waterfalls and into pools of water, you will get wet and will need a dry bag and appropriate clothing and experience. You should consider cancelling this trip if it rains in which case you could just bushwalk to the top of Jourama Falls... or relax at home, have a beer, read a book or watch Netflix like normal people do.

Approach

The approach routes are detailed in the following artiles:

Hidden Valley to Jourama Falls, Waterview Creek
Abseiling down waterfalls and into pools of water is one of the closest things you can get to a canyoning experience in North Queensland. Another great place is down Crystal Falls to the Intake plant.
jourama falls top m unedited
Approach via Jacobsen Track
Station Creek and Waterview Creek
This loop will take you from Jourama Falls up towards Paluma Dam and then down Station Creek which flows into Waterview Creek. Highlights: The Black Hole & top of Jourama Falls.
station creek
Approach via Station Creek

Interactive Map

An interactive map of the approach routes and exit routes:

Maps Download - KML, GPX

Waterview Creek Canyon Rappel
Rappel One

Rappel 1

R1-25m DRB-TR

There are two bolts placed on top of the cliff on the right-hand side of the creek. They are easily accessible and take you down into the pool of water below.

Waterview Creek Canyon Rappel
Rappel Two

Rappel 2

R2-35m DRB-TL

Two bolts on left-hand side of canyon.

  • Option 1: A 35m abseil takes your down to waterfalls and lands you just on the lowest ledge right next to the water - you can step from this ledge to the nearby dry rocks. Long swim across to granite slabs.
  • Option 2: Abseil ~6m into slot, swim/walk to top of falls and jump ~8m into pool (Black Hole) below. Check depth before jumping on every trip. Long swim to granite slabs.

The black hole pool is approximately 25m deep.

Danger notes: If jumping, note that the top of the falls may be slippery and you will need to jump out far enough to miss the small ledge (no sliding). Take care in high flow.

Exit Notes: Exit via the Black Hole Track to either Jourama Falls or Paluma Dam.

Rock hop 30 min downstream

Waterview Creek
Rappel three

Rappel 3 - Optional

  • Option 1: R3-8m NA-TR
  • Option 2: Scramble TR
  • Option 3: Walk around TR 30 minutes

Rock hop 20 min downstream

Waterview Creek
Rappel four

Rappel 4 - Optional

  • Option 1: R4-8m NA-TR
  • Option 2: Scramble TR (only in dry conditions)
  • Option 3: Walk around TR 30 minutes

Exit Notes: Rock hop 1-2 hours to Paluma Dam to Jourama Falls trail.  

or

Enter Jourama Canyon.

For Jourama Falls section, please read the Jourama Falls Canyon article.

What to take

  • 70m dry canyoning rope recommended.
  • A harness, rappel / belay device, prusik and carabiner as an extra safety precaution.
  • A headlight (+ spare torch) in case we take too long again.
Blackhole, Waterview Creek

Anchoring notes

There are various bolt anchors throughout the canyon however it is not unusual to come across damaged or even missing anchors, especially after flooding events. Please use sound judgement when considering previously installed anchors, this includes tape slings, ropes, and other textiles.

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.

Top of Jourama Falls pool

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.

Blackhole Canyon, Waterview 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.