Navigators is a rural locality on the railway line from Geelong to Ballarat and is 10 km south-east of Ballarat. It lies between Mounts Buninyong and Warrenheip. It is thought that the name came from a Navigator’s Inn, active at about the time when the railway was being built (1862).
Navigators was recorded as being a hamlet with a population mainly engaged in alluvial mining (1865). A Catholic school was opened in 1867 and a government school in 1877. In 1900 the government school closed, and probably the Catholic one continued. (The area was close to the Irish Catholic district extending eastwards to Gordon). In any event, in 1926 by when the Catholic St Augustine’s school had closed, a government school re-opened in its premises. It continued, lapsing for a while in the 1950s when attendance was 5 and continued until 1966. St Anne's Catholic church was a local landmark until the late 1980s.
Navigators also had a hotel around the turn of the century. There is a notable single-arch bluestone bridge over the railway line (1860), recorded on the Australian and Victorian historic buildings registers. The hall and public reserve were upgraded in 2007.
Navigators' census populations have been:
*and environs, census area differs