Various early explorers - including John Oxley in 1817, Charles Sturt in 1830 and Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1836 - visited the area. It was Mitchell's enthusiastic comments about the quality of the land in the region that encouraged settlement, and Balranald was gazetted in 1851. As a crossing point on the Murrumbidgee River, Balranald prospered throughout the second half of the 19th century. Discover local histories along the Balranald Heritage Trail, which passes sites of historic significance. A map is available from the Balranald Visitor Information Centre.