Wyndham is a fascinating outback town, steeped in a multicultural history. Located 100kms from Kununurra and 933kms from Darwin, the town was established in 1886 by Australian explorer John Forrest and became the major port and trading station of the East Kimberley, setup to support the gold rush of Halls Creek, 360kms away. During this time Wyndham received an influx of residents chasing the gold dream, including Afghan camel drivers, Englishmen, and Chinese retailers and tailors.
2 years later, the gold rush and subsequent boom in Wyndham had come to an end. During this time the town was predominately supported by the Kimberley pastoral industry until 1913 when the Western Australian government commenced construction of the Wyndham Meat Works. With interruptions from World War I it was not until 1919 that the meat works was completed, employing between 1600 and 2000 workers per year until it closed in 1985.
Wyndham was attacked several times by Japanese war aircraft in World War 2. The Wyndham Historical Museum features much information about all of Wyndham's history and has a particularly good display on the MV Koolama and Koolama incident, an alleged mutiny.
Today Wyndham has a population of approximately 800. The town has been shaped by Aboriginal, Chinese, Afghan, and English influence. Wyndham Wyndham has a rich cultural history, and is an interesting town to visit.
WHERE TO EAT IN WYNDHAM
Gouldian finches, Star finches, Chestnut rails, Yellow-bellied flycatchers, Black butcherbirds, and many many more. In fact, Wyndham and surrounds boasts over 200 different bird species, in a variety of habitats.
There are many different places to birdwatch around Wyndham. From the Ramsar listed Parry Creek Nature Reserve and wetlands, to the mangrove lined creeks of the Cambridge Gulf.
Many ideal birdwatching sites can be accessed by 2WD, however a 4WD vehicle will enable you to reach a wider range of locations. Alternatively, Andy of Northbound Charters offers 'Birds of the Mangroves' birdwatching tours early morning throughout the year by prior arrangement.
For more information on Wyndham's exceptional birdwatching, visit:
Wyndham offers some of Australia's finest fishing with a variety of abundant waterways to explore. Tidal estuaries, flats, and mangrove lined creeks deliver a range of species including the prized tropical sportsfish, the Barramundi, along with Fingermark, Threadfin Salmon, Jewfish, Mangrove Jack, Estuary Cod and more.
Visitors to Wyndham can enjoy land based fishing from the Wyndham Jetty also known as Anthon's landing, or the King or Pentecost rivers. Alternatively, you have the option to join local charter operator Northbound Charters exploring the remote waterways of the Cambridge Gulf and beyond on a single day or multi day fishing trip.
There is a good boat ramp facility in Wyndham for those travelling with their own boat. We strongly recommend that you do your research before launching your boat as Wyndham experiences tides up to 8m, has underwater hazards, and also boasts a substantial crocodile population.
Your stay at the Rusty Wheelbarrow B&B includes a cooked or continental breakfast (your choice) with fresh plunger coffee, quality teas and juice. There is a communal fridge for you to store any of your food in, and a BBQ for self-catering.
Other options in Wyndham include the Community Club for good old fashioned pub meals; and the famous Croc Bakery for lunch, morning tea or dinner.
The Wyndham Supermarket is open 7am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 2pm on Sunday's. It has limited hours on public holidays.
Vagg's Wyndham Liquor is open 12noon to 8pm Monday to Saturday and is closed on Sunday. Liquor Restrictions apply in the East Kimberley.
Wyndham is home to some of The Kimberley's most beautiful landmarks. The drive from Kununurra or Halls Creek to Wyndham in itself is very picturesque with incredible views of the Cockburn ranges. A few suggestions of things to do in Wyndham:
Watch the sunset from The Bastion/ Five Rivers Lookout. From this lookout you will see where 5 major Kimberley rivers meet the sea - quite possibly one of Australia's greatest views! The Bastion also hosts the annual Stars on the Bastion, a fantastic evening of country music, food and festivities.
Drive through the Wyndham township and historic port area, visiting the Afghan cemetery, the Big Crocodile, Warriu park dreamtime statues, the BIG Boab, Pioneer Cemetery, Wyndham Historical Society museum, Anthon's landing, The Gully area and Gully cemetery where the graves of many of Wyndham's greatest pioneers are located. Stop for lunch or coffee and cake at the Rusty Shed Cafe or Five Rivers Cafe.
Take a drive out to the Marlgu billabong on the Parry Creek Nature Reserve. Even if you're not an avid birdwatcher, this is well worth the visit, and it is not uncommon to spot large saltwater crocodiles, particularly later in the season (so be careful). Nearby Telegraph hill is a great spot to appreciate the view at any time of the day however it is exceptional at sunset. Parry Creek Farm offers lunch and dinner or cake and coffee throughout the dry season.
If you enjoy getting off road, the King River Road offers enjoyable 4WDing with numerous creek crossings, and is not far from the Rusty Wheelbarrow. Following the natural contour of the tidal King River, the road will lead you to the Moochalabra dam, prison Boab tree, Ancient Aboriginal Rock Art, and eventually ends up at Diggers Rest Station. For the very keen 4WDer, the Karunjie tracks commences towards the end of the King River Road.
The pretty Three Mile Valley offers pleasant bushwalking trails. 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.
Telstra and Vodafone work in Wyndham.
There is a hospital, St Johns Ambulance, Community Resource Centre, Public Swimming Pool, Post Office, Wyndham Sea Rescue, and Airstrip.
ATM's are located at Goorooka Nunga general store, Vaggs liquor store and the supermarket.