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Bisi Falls (Wasi Falls)

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 6.7580 S 143.6073 E
No:512        (list of all attractions)
Category:Waterfalls, Springs
Values:Geology, Visual
Rank:3
Address:Australia and Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Southern Highlands, on Mubi River at the southern rim of Great Papuan Plateau
Alternate names:Wasi Falls (refers to larger group of falls on Mubi River), Mubi River Falls, Beaver Falls, Wassi Falls
Height:˜ 100 m
Width:˜ 90 m (main part) and ˜ 200 m (springs)

The most impressive falls in Papua New Guinea are Bisi Falls - the largest of Wasi Falls. Main part of this magnificent waterfall is some 100 m tall and approximately 90 m wide, but there is an "extension" - 200 m wide front of waterfalls formed by powerful springs.

Mubi River

This waterfall has formed on Mubi River some 4.5 km before its confluence with the mighty Kikori River. Here Mubi River flows through the Great Papuan Plateau - a rugged, rather little explored karst area which is covered with pristine rainforest. In this area there are numerous caves and some have historical importance as they were used as burial caves.

Mubi River here forms a group of falls named Wasi (Wassi) Falls. Bisi Falls are the largest in this group, other two larger falls are Maskimu Falls and Geagosusu Falls.

Geologically this waterfall is fairly new - earlier Mubi River had another course to the east from its present course. Now the former valley of Mubi River is a 600 m deep, dry (if this word can be applied in Papuan rainforest) valley.

Two parts of waterfall

Bisi Falls are unusual falls as they consist of two parts.

The first part is the main fall of Mubi River itself. As this area receives lots of rain, Mubi River is rich with water. The huge mass of water leaps over the edge of cliff and falls for some 100 - 110 m in a forested canyon with eternal mist rising over it.

The second part is not less impressive. Right after the main falls on the left bank of Mubi from the cliffs flow powerful springs which form some 200 m wide veil of falling water. These falls are not entirely vertical - they flow down along a steep cliff.

These springs - waterfalls are intriguing. It is very possible that behind these springs can be found extensive cave system or several caves. It is also possible that these springs belong to world's most powerful ones.

History and tourism

This sparsely populated area is inhabited by Foi (Foimena) people - but they also live more towards north from this sita.

First white man to reach the falls was Wilfred Beaver in 1911, but the first description of the falls was made by Sydney Chance in 1926 who named them "Beaver Falls" - after the discoverer.

Nowadays this waterfall is much sought tourist destination. Nevertheless it is hard to reach it. Most people come here with helicopter and for a short time can look on it from above.

Reaching the falls by walking is much harder. Although there is a smaller road not too far, there is no trail leading to the falls.

Map

See Bisi Falls on the map of Papua!

 

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