By 1823 occupation of the country west of Bathurst had begun. The Government had established stations on which sheep and cattle were run. The Survey of the district began in 1828, and in 1829 the name 'Orange' appears on the maps as a Parish. Settlers had their eyes on the rich basaltic soils of the area and by 1836 land on the outskirts of the village site were sold.

The first to purchase land in the immediate vicinity of Orange were WE Sampson and J Moulder. These men subdivided their properties in the 1830s and leased them to tenants who began to clear and cultivate the lands they occupied.

After the discovery of gold at nearby Ophir in 1851, the landscape of the area started to change with thousands of people flocking to the diggings. The population of Orange in 1851 was 28, by 1861, 10 years later the population reached 581. Another 10 years later in 1871 the population was 1,456. Some of the disappointed miners who didn't make their fortune remained in the area as settlers.