The park incorporates lands of traditional significance to the local Bundjalung people. The local Aboriginal name for the mountain is "Wollumbin"; meaning, "cloud-catcher", or alternatively "fighting chief of the mountains". The mountain's English name was bestowed on it by Lieutenant James Cook in May 1770, as his expedition in command of the Endeavour passed it by on their route northwards along the eastern coastline of Australia. The designation "Mount Warning" was meant to indicate the danger of the offshore reefs they encountered. The park was reserved for public recreation in 1928 and dedicated as a national park in 1966. The Park is part of the Shield Volcano Group of the World Heritage SiteGondwana Rainforests of Australia inscribed in 1986 and added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.