The township and surrounding rural community are located on the southern extremity of a main range of silurian slate and sandstone rock. The area was a centre of intensive gold mining in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The township was known as Kangaroo between 1880 and 1900. Gold has been mined at Berringa since the 1850s, with the main period of production being from 1898 to 1917, during which time about 280,000 ounces of gold were extracted from five major mines and several other, smaller operations. Mining continued after World War I on a lesser scale until the area was abandoned in the 1950s.