Nagambie is a small, growing town of around 1900 people, situated at the southern end of the Goulburn Valley, 123 km north of Melbourne on the Goulburn Valley Highway, between Seymour and Shepparton, and 130 metres above sea-level.
The townscape is dominated by picturesque Lake Nagambie which lies beside the main street. The area is given over to vineyards, cereal, sheep, cattle, horse studs and tourism.
It has been claimed that one of the Natrakboolok, Ngooraialum or Thagungwurung Aboriginal tribes occupied the land around what became Nagambie. The first white men in the district belonged to the party of explorer Thomas Mitchell which crossed the Goulburn River just to the south-west at what became Mitchellstown.
Overlanders followed in his footsteps and therefore used the same river crossing, as did the postman on the mail route from Melbourne to Sydney, established in 1838. It was at this crossing that John Clark built the first licensed inn outside of Melbourne in the territory that would later become Victoria. That same year Mitchellstown became the first inland town site in Victoria to be surveyed (though it never developed) and it was here that the survivors of the massacre at Benalla arrived, also in 1838.
An Aboriginal Protectorate was briefly established at Mitchellstown in 1839 but was moved the following year to what is now Murchison. The land on which the town would develop was taken up as a squatting run in 1845 by Hugh Glass and John Purcell. Chateau Tahbilk was established in 1860 on a part of this run with the help of French vigneron Ludovic Marie who was also instrumental to the genesis of Murchison. A hotel, church and blacksmith were set up to cater for the through-traffic of teamsters journeying along the river system to Adelaide.
Hugh Glass had the township surveyed in 1868 by Marie. Land sales proceeded in 1870 and it was proclaimed as the private town of 'Nagambie' in 1872, said to be derived from a local Aboriginal word meaning 'lagoon'.
When floods killed off the mine at Graytown in 1870 many businesses relocated to Nagambie. However, the arrival of the railway in 1880 had a detrimental effect when Nagambie lost the coach and teamster.