The Gin Gin district was originally settled in 1847 when Gregory Blaxland and William Forster moved into the area with sheep and cattle. The site where the town now stands was once part of the sprawling Gin Gin Station owned by Sir Thomas McIlwraith, who was Premier of Queensland three times between 1879 and 1893.
The Gin Gin district is nicknamed Wild Scotsman Country due to the capture of one of Queensland’s few bushrangers, James Alpin McPherson, in the area on 30 March 1866. McPherson, who went by the same nickname, was captured at Monduran Station, 13 km north of town. The Wild Scotsman Festival is held in Gin Gin on the third week of March each year to commemorate this event.