Panton Hill was established as a goldfield in 1859 in the area generally called the Caledonia Diggings (1855). By the end of the 1860s the goldfield became less profitable and miners turned to farming. Several introduced viticulture and orchards to Panton Hill.
The town boasts an excellent General Store and the Hotel is one of the oldest country pubs in the State. The Firefighters Memorial Park in the centre of town has been dedicated to the memory of 5 of Panton Hill's firefighters who perished on Ash Wednesday.
Seven bushland reserves in the Panton Hill, Smiths Gully and Watsons Creek area are collectively known as the Panton Hill Bushland Reserve System. These reserves total approximately 140 hectares in area and are significant for their diverse array of native plants, animals and vegetation communities, important regional habitat links, the presence of threatened species, the presence of historical and heritage sites, and opportunities for environmental education and recreation.