The Tommeginner tribe of Aboriginals traversed the area before and after the arrival of Europeans in the 19th century, living along the coastline, building fish traps at Freestone Cove and hunting for game on the inland coastal plains.
The first white settlers west of the Inglis River was the King family, that took up land in the early 1840s. The reason for the name of Wynyard was not discovered.
Wynyard is an increasingly popular retirement town for the same reason, with a number of new housing developments. The town boasts two fine old churches, including the Alexander North Heritage-listed Anglican church of St Stephen in Dodgin Street. Its clean beaches are particularly good for walking, thanks to firm quartz sand.
There are sheltered spots for swimming at 'The Old Port', changing facilities and showers for bathers on the main beach, and good provision for children, including barbecue and picnic areas, playgrounds and a supervised swimming pool, open in the summer school vacations.