Ludwig Leichhardt and his team were the first Europeans to explore the area on 4 May 1845 on his expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington (now Darwin). Leichhardt was very impressed with the area saying:
About five miles north-west by west from our camp, we discovered an en extensive valley with large lagoons and lakes, and a most luxuriant vegetation, bounded by blue distant ranges, and forming the most picturesque landscape we had yet met with. A chain of lagoons connected by a reedy brook followed the outlines of the table land, along the foot of its steep slopes. … Water, grass, hills, mountains, plains, forest land; all the elements of a fine pasturing country, were here united.
Leichhardt uses the term “valley of lagoons” several times in his book, presumably the origin of the name.