Returned soldiers and their families began to arrive in the area in 1948, occupying huts brought from a former internment camp, and began to move onto their farms in 1951. A total of 174 families came to live in the area, almost doubling Kangaroo Island's population by 1954.
The town has an area school for years 1 to 11, a community hotel, and two general stores.
The Parndana Research Centre was established to the south of the town as a support for early farming activities, but effectively closed in the 1990's.
The Parndana Wildlife Park opened in 1992 and has an extensive collection of animals with a focus on Kangaroo Island wildlife.
The Parndana Football Club first fielded teams in 1948, 1949 and 1951 during the early days of the land clearing operations, before being permanently admitted to the Kangaroo Island football league in February 1956.