The Wyndham Port was first established in the 1880’s and to this day provides a vital link for the East Kimberley Region.
Wyndham Port is the only deep-water port between Broome and Darwin. Exports include live cattle, nickel, oil & produce from the Ord River irrigation area. Imports include diesel, ammonium nitrate for the mining industry Australia wide and general cargo.
The opening of a major nickel mine north of Halls Creek in early 2004 provided up to 100,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate exported to China every year. Transshipment Services Australia commenced shipping iron ore in July 2011 through KMG’s export facility in Wyndham. Up until February 2015 the company exported in excess of 150,000 tonnes per month of iron ore to Chinese markets.
The export of sugar has ceased with the demise of the Ord sugar industry in 2007. Expansion of the Ord River Irrigation Area will most likely see a return of broad acre crop exports through the Port.
Approximately 10% of Australia’s live cattle exports go through Wyndham Port. The cattle are sourced from the many cattle stations in the East Kimberley and are exported mainly to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines with some shipments to the Persian Gulf.
Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels over 500 tonnes entering Wyndham Port limits. For larger vessels, the pilot boards the ship at Lacrosse Island, which is 45 nautical miles north of the jetty. This makes Wyndham one of the longest pilotages in Australia. Wyndham has a maximum tidal range of 8.3m and tidal streams run at up to 7 knots through the narrower sections of the Cambridge Gulf passage.