Wellington was discovered in 1817 by New South Wales Surveyor General John Oxley. The first convict settlement was established in 1823 by Lieutenant Percy Simpson. Wellington was named after the Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Wellington is the second oldest settlement west of the Blue Mountains, with Bathurst being the first.

The traditional Aboriginal Binjang People of the Wiradjuri Nation is known to have lived in the Wellington Valley for more than 25000 years. Many of their descendants still live in and around Wellington.

Wellington is the major centre between the Central Western towns of Orange and Dubbo and is four and a half hours drive from Sydney on the Mitchell Highway.

Major attractions in and around Wellington include the Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mine, Wellington-Osawano Japanese Gardens, Mt Arthur Reserve, Lake Burrendong and Lake Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum.