Wyndham is the oldest and northernmost town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, located on the Great Northern Highway, 2,210 Kms (1,373 mi) northeast of Perth. It was established in 1886 as a result of a gold rush at Halls Creek, and it is now a port and service centre for the east Kimberley with a population of 800.
The first European to visit the area was Phillip Parker King in 1819. He was instructed to find a river ‘likely to lead to an interior navigation into the great continent’. He sailed into Cambridge Gulf, which he named after the Duke of Cambridge, and then sailed up a river which was subsequently named after him (the King River).
During World War II, the town was attacked several times by Japanese aircraft.
Wyndham’s significance as a service centre was crucial for the construction of the Ord River Diversion Dam and the town of Kununurra in the early 1960s. With the rise of Kununurra as a larger population centre the significance of Wyndham as a service centre had diminished by the 1980s. Wyndham has regained significance as the port for the region with new mines shipping ore from the port.
We met the local donkey at the caravan park and explored some of the more remote gorges in the Wyndham area.