Settlement of the area dates from 1868. Growth took place in the 1880s and 1890s, spurred by the construction of the railway line and the discovery of gold. Land was used mainly for farming and timber getting, and later dairy farming. A gold mine was established in 1913, operating until 1954. Significant development occurred during the post-war years, with rapid growth from the 1960s, aided by public housing construction. The population has declined slightly since the early 1990s, a result of few dwellings being added to the area, and a decline in the average number of persons living in each dwelling.
Major features of the area include Gould Adams Recreation Area, Gould Adams Park Aquatic & Community Centre, Kingston Butter Factory Community Arts Centre, Kingston Park Raceway, Mayes Cottage, Anzac Park, Bega Park, Collin Park, Queens Road Shopping Village and a number of schools.