Parry Creek Farm
Stopped to use a screened camp kitchen for lunch. The resort is 90km from Kununurra and 20km from Wyndham. The Parry Creek Lagoons Nature Reserve is recognised wetland of international importance as a feeding and breeding ground for migratory waders. Also a drought refuge for Kimberley waterbirds.
There are caravan sites and air-con cabins with a extensive boardwalk running alongside a billabong which staff say contains a “saltie” crocodile. Would be a good place to watch the local birdlife at dawn and dusk. Should be a good base to explore and fish the region if you’ve got the time.
Water levels in the wetlands and various lagoons, billabongs and gorges were low due to the realtively low rainfalls of the last two Wet Seasons on the Kimberley’s.
Northern most town in the Kimberley with a population of less than 850. Surrounded by cliff and gorge country, salt lakes and mudflats. As isolated as any town can be. Struck by just how friendly the locals are.
History of Wyndham
The first inhabitants were the Djeidji, Dulngari and Aruagga aboriginal tribes who lived on seafood. Phillip Parker King arrived in 1819 in the 83-ton cutter Mermaid looking for a river that led into the interior and named Cambridge Gulf. He was pretty pessimistic about the area so it was left alone by Europeans. Explorer Alexander Forrest took a look at the Kimberley’s in 1879. His reports of good cattle country and possible gold started to excite interest.
In 1883 Patsy Durack bagan an epic trek from SW Queensland with 7250 head of cattle and 200 horses. Took 2 years to get to the Kununurra area where he set up a station lease in 1884. The family pretty much assumed control of Wyndham in it’s early days. It became a town in 1886 due to a gold rush to Halls Creek 374km away which had started in 1885. By mid 1886 the town was booming with 6 pubs, one of which was a 2-story building. At times there were 16 vessels anchored off the Port. It only lasted to 1888 when the gold ran out and the town dwindled to a tiny settlement servicing the pastoral industry.
It now operates as a port and service centre for the East Kimberley region with mining and tourism industries and exporting live cattle. It’s actually split into two areas; the Port and the residential and shopping area about 5km away.
There’s a lot to do if you wish to stay a while. There’s spectacular land forms, rivers and wetlands, four-wheel driving, aboriginal rock art and magnificient views and beautiful sunsets at the Five Rivers Lookout.
Iconic Boab Trees
Boab trees are endemic to the Kimberley region and are also iconic to Africa and Madagascar. No one really knows for sure how the boab came to Australia. The prevailing view for now is that aboriginals brought them here.
Five Rivers Lookout
A MUST SEE when visiting Wyndham. The photos below overlook the Port. The one at right is looking toward entrance into the Gulf of Cambridge.
Ancient Aborigines and Rock Art
Aboriginal rock art and engravings were never viewed or intended to be “art” by the aboriginals. They looked at it as a “place” to tell part of a dreaming story. A gallery could tell part of the story and be interconnected to another one somewhere nearby or distant.
The artwork is no longer being renewed so it’s expected that open-air rock art galleries throughout Australia will have disappeared by 2060 due to pollution, vandals, development, inept bureaucrats and wildlife. We could see this gradual degradation for ourselves with little or no attempt apparently being made other than barriers in some places, to protect individual rock art galleries in exposed places. Kind of sad really.