The Upper Mitta Mitta River, its tributaries, and surrounding mountains, hills and valleys have been important for Aboriginal culture for at least 21,000 years. While some Aboriginal groups lived on the plains of the catchment throughout the year, many groups would travel to the mountains in spring and summer from much greater distances each year to feast on Bogong moths in the Australian Alps. These gatherings were also a time to perform ceremonies, share stories, and exchange knowledge and skills. The Mitta Mitta catchment is the traditional land of the Dhudhuroa and Yaitmathang nations.
European pastoralists arrived in the valley in 1835, and established cropping as the main industry. Alluvial gold was subsequently discovered in 1851, inflating the population to several hundred itinerant miners and helping to establish the township of Granite Flat. In 1894 Sunnyside and Glen Wills were also established due to gold discovery however by 1919 the mining boom had collapsed. Where once was a thriving township, there is very little evidence to be seen today. Dairying was introduced into the catchment in 1900, by which time mining had virtually ceased, and it remains the main agricultural industry of the area to this day. Beef production is also important and for many generations the valley provided access for high country cattle graziers to bring their cattle in and out mountains for feed depending on the season. These families have strong connections to both the Mitta Mitta River and the mountains still today.