The valley was inhabited by Aboriginal Australians for thousands of years, but the First European settlement occurred around 1823.
Within the Wolgan Valley there are several significant Aboriginal sacred sites. These include Maiyingu Marragu (Blackfellows Hands) which is a collection of Aboriginal hand stencils located near Wolgan Gap, and several Aboriginal burial sites. The bush walking trails in the area include the Pipeline Track, as well as the track from Newnes to the Glowworm Tunnel. There are also camping grounds that are open to the public. The valley also contains numerous slot canyons and is popular for rockclimbing.