Little is known of the indigenous people of the Highlands area. Tools and artefacts have been found on some farms. The indications are that the Taungurong people spent a good deal of their time around the Goulburn River and ventured into the Highlands area for hunting particularly during the summer months. To date there has been no survey of Aboriginal sites of significance.
The community commemorates the Taungurong people through the Taungurong Creek Reserve, situated near the Highlands Primary School.
In the 1840's an area of approximately 100,000 acres (40,500 hectare) was taken up in pastoral leases. Four large unfenced holdings were created; 'Kobyboyn' held by Gideon Stewart; 'Dropmore' by Henry Kent Hughes; 'Ghin Ghin' by Campbell; and 'Switzerland' by Donaldson and Urquart.
It was not until the 1880's that the rural areas were surveyed into roughly 320 acres (a square mile).
The original pioneering families were Lade, Chisholm, McAlpin, Minchinton, Yorston and Zoch families. The circle of stones situated at the Highlands intersection commemorates these pioneer families and were set in place on the occasion of the centenary of the district in 1982. Descendents of these families still live in the area. A more detailed description of the stones can be found on the notice board outside the Community Hall.
A detailed history of the area entitled "Highlands 1882-1982" was produced by Helen McCall and a supporting committee at the time of the District's Centenary, unfortunately it is no longer in print. Plans are in hand to update this history.