Wyndham
Collage of Wyndham.

It's the most northerly town in Western Australia, off the beaten track and very isolated. Wyndham has one of the hotted average daily temperatures in Australia and one of the most beautiful outlooks in the region. The town is also the oldest in the Kimberley. The views from Five Rivers Lookout are breathtaking. The Anzac Day Service is held at this lookout (also known as 'The Bastion'), and aside from The War Memorial or Gallipoli, this may be one of the best Anzac Day services you will ever attend.

Many people simply avoid Wyndham. It requires a 120km roundtrip off the highway to get there and many folk who do turn off find nothing but tidal mangroves swamps, what appears to be impenetrable bush, mudflats and scorching temperatures. We think many people miss the point about Wyndham. It's an unusual place with an 'otherworldly' feel particularly the old port side of town. The feeling is distinctly tropical but the landscape is distinctly rock, boab and spinifex rather than coconut, banana and sand.

Wyndham lies on a stretch of water named the Cambridge Gulf. It's a short hop to the ocean - the Timor Sea is just over the horizon, yet you can't see the ocean or drive to it. If you could you would't swim at the beach anyway. Nor would you swim in the five rivers that are visible from The Bastion - the Durack, Pentecost, King, Forrest and Ord. This is big barramundi country and big crocodile country. You'll probably figure that out as you see the concrete monster at Wyndham's town entrance. Save your swimming for the local pool or a visit to 'The Grotto' - a plunge pool and waterfall 30km before the townsite.

Wyndham actually has a host of things to see. The Afghan, Bend and Gully cemeteries all help paint a picture of early Wyndham life while the Crocodile Statue and Aboriginal Dreamtime Statues are located in the heart of town. There is a croc farm with 3000 reptiles and the bush really is accessible when you start to investigate. Add massive boab trees and a shipwreck and Wyndham starts to look a lot more interesting than a lot of heavily promoted tourist destinations. Wyndham is home to about 800 people and is divided into two parts. The old port is the beginning of a couple of walk trails and the towns pioneering history while the 'Three Mile' is the the residential and shopping area.

Wyndham has always been a cattle and port town. It briefly served as a major service depot to the goldfields at Hall's Creek and ships still berth at the port to unload ammonium nitrate for the Argyle Diamond Mine but at its heart this place was built on beef. Wyndham was settled by the famous Durack family. An abattoir was built in 1919 and it operated for 65 years. Today the Port of Wyndham ships 10% of Australia's live cattle rather than frozen beef.

We excluded oceanside towns when deciding on the places that would make the '100 Real Outback Town List' but places like Borroloola and Wyndham have no real ocean connection at all and are a hell of a lot more 'outback' than somewhere like Mildura in Victoria.


◄ Back to 100 Real Outback Towns


Related Articles -

Where is the Australian Outback?

Movies About the Outback

100 Natural Outback Landmarks

available now

◄ The Complete  

Guide To 4WD

and     

The 4WD ►

Campervan Guide

To Outback Touring

Subscribe to our Newsletter