Wyndham

Situated on the Cambridge Gulf at the convergence of the King, Pentecost, Durack, Forest and the Ord Rivers and surrounded by some of the most spectacular landforms, rivers and wetlands in the Kimberley. Wyndham is an artist’s and photographer’s paradise.

Located 100kms from Kununurra, the town was established in 1886 by Australian explorer John Forrest and became the major port and trading station of the East Kimberley. Today, Wyndham has a population of approximately 800 people, and offers its visitors a friendly face and the chance to discover some of its diverse and exciting history.

The most northerly township in Western Australia, Wyndham is surrounded by some of the Kimberley’s most spectacular landforms, rivers and wetlands, offering a host of outback adventures.

 

Heritage

 

Established in 1886, the Port of Wyndham was an essential link in the development of the Kimberley. Its beginnings came with the Halls Creek gold rush, as thousands of would-be gold barons travelled through the port on their way to stake their claim. With the end of the gold rush just a couple of years later, Wyndham continued to service the beef industry, with supplies delivered to and cattle transported from the port.

From 1913, the government started construction of the Wyndham meatworks, which opened in 1919 and was involved in the export of beef to Britain. It was the town's major employer until it closed in 1985.

The overland telegraph also played a large part in Wyndham's history - in 1889 links between Perth and Wyndham were established, and in 1914 the Wyndham Wireless Station was built on top of Telegraph Hill in Parrys Creek Nature Reserve. It was operational until 1921 assisting ships entering Wyndham Port, and also played a part in World War I.

Wyndham also made the headlines on several occasions, including in the 1930's when it was the Australian landing point for aviators seeking to establish new solo flying records between England and Australia. In 1935, the first Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service) was established in Wyndham. 

Today, Wyndham has a population of just 800 people and operates as a working port, servicing the cattle export industry, the mining and tourism industries and the Ord River Project.

 

Wyndham Accommodation


On the way to Wyndham and on the edge of a billabong, Parry Creek Farm Tourist Resort is an ideal place to stay. Accessing Parry Creek Farm via Parry Creek Road from Kununurra will require a 4WD vehicle however, if you are travelling along the Great Northern Highway to Wyndham, you can take it steady and arrive at Parry Creek Farm & Tourist Resort via 2WD. For that ‘station-stay' feel, why not head out to Digger's Rest Station. Found near the junction of the King River Road and the Karunjie Track, a 4WD vehicle is a necessity to access this Station that is surrounded by spectacular scenery.

Attractions

Bastion Range / Five Rivers Lookout

The Bastion Range forms the backdrop to Wyndham, with the Five Rivers Lookout located at the highest point (360m) from which to view the local landscape. The local Aboriginal name is the Dahdarwi Range. The lookout provides spectacular views of the five rivers (Ord, Forrest, King, Durack and Pentecost Rivers) which enter the Cambridge Gulf, and surrounding mangrove swamps, mudflats and hills. Directly below is the historic Wyndham Port. The lookout is an ideal vantage point for sunsets.

Wyndham Port

The historic Port was founded in 1885, and was the landing point for thousands of gold prospectors and cattle graziers who came by ships in the early years. The original town of Wyndham grew in the Port area, but later moved to the three mile area where there was more habitable land. Today the Port plays an important role in the mining, pastoral, sugar and tourism industries.

Wyndham Port Heritage Trail

The Heritage Trail begins at the Boab Gallery in the Wyndham Port, where a brochure outlining the trail can be obtained. The trail is a combination walk / drive tour of the physical reminders left of Wyndham's fascinating past. It highlights historic buildings and sites in the old Port townsite, and takes visitors to various historical cemeteries and monuments found throughout the Wyndham area.

Three Mile Valley - walking trails

Located at the base of the Bastion Range, the Three Mile Valley is an ideal place for bushwalking. Two walking trails are marked from the BBQ / picnic area in the Valley: one trail follows the Three Mile Valley Creek where there are a number of waterfalls (in the wet season) and waterholes, while the other trail heads up the Bastion Range and provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Aboriginal Dreamtime Statues

These large bronze statues of an Aboriginal family and a number of native animals are located on Koolama Street in Wyndham. They are a proud reminder of the rich Aboriginal heritage of the area.

Crocodile Statue

This 20 m long crocodile statue welcomes visitors to Wyndham. It is made from 5.5 km of steel rod, 50 kg of welding rods, 10 rolls of bird mesh, 5 cubic m of concrete covering 150 square m, and lots of ingenuity and hard work.

Wyndham Museum

The museum is located in the old courthouse building in the Port area. It contains some fascinating memorabilia, journal records and photographic displays of Wyndham since European settlement in the 1880s.

Pioneer Cemetery

Located on the highway towards Wyndham Port, this cemetery provides an insight into the hardships associated with the building of the Wyndham meatworks (1886-1922).

Afghan Cemetery

Located off the highway just out of Wyndham, this cemetery contains the graves of early Afghan settlers (1890s). The Afghans provided an important means of transport with their camels and donkeys, carrying food supplies and goods between towns and stations.

Gully Cemetery

The Gully was the main residential area of the historic Wyndham Port. This cemetery contains the graves of many of the great pioneers of Wyndham and the Kimberley (1922-1968).

Australia's Largest Boab Tree in Captivity

This enormous boab tree is located in the Wyndham caravan park. It is approximately 25 m at its widest point.

King River Road

Beginning off the highway just out of Wyndham and ending at the Gibb River Road, this 4WD track includes numerous creek crossings. The road will lead you to Moochalabra Dam, Aboriginal rock paintings, the Prison Tree, and various fishing spots on the tidal reaches of the King River.

Singhs Gardens

Located off the King River Road, these are the remains of a vegetable garden grown by an Afghan Chinaman in the early 1900s. The vegetables were sold at the marketplace near the Wyndham meatworks. Today there remains an overgrown garden, as well as a hut and well on the nearby ridge.

Moochalabra Dam

The dam was constructed to provide an assured water supply to the Wyndham area and was completed in 1971. The water is backed up by an earthfill wall. This construction is unique to Australia, having been designed to allow overflow to pass through the rock on the crest of the hill.

Aboriginal Rock Paintings

Located off the King River Road, these paintings of Wandjina spirit ancestors and animals have been done with natural ochre.

Prison Tree

Located on the King River Road, this large boab tree was used by the early police patrols as an overnight lock-up.

Cambridge Gulf

In 1819 Lt. Phillip Parker King sailed his ship "Mermaid" into the inlet where Wyndham now stands, and named the Cambridge Gulf in honour of the Duke of Cambridge. Ships of all sizes continue to berth at the wharf today and, subject to tides, a variety of fish are caught in these waters. Not far from the wharf lies the remains of the state ship Koolama, which was bombed by the Japanese during World War II.

The Gut

This is a natural gap in the Cambridge Gulf, narrowing to approximately 150 m. On the south-west side of the Gut, the Gulf again opens out to its full width to receive the Pentecost and Durack Rivers and numerous creeks.

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