The townsite of Guilderton is located on the coast at the mouth of the Moore River, 94 kilometres north of Perth. It was gazetted a townsite in 1951, but has been used as a camping and holiday place since around 1905 when residents of Gingin petitioned the Lands Department for the creation of a road to the place and a camping reserve. A reserve for a picnic ground was declared in 1907, and the area soon became popular for camping and picnicking In the 1940s public demand for permanent camping sites led to the government deciding to declare a townsite, and seeking a name for the area, which up until then had been locally referred to as "Moore River".
A number of names were considered, the preferred name of "Guilderton" being suggested by Mrs Henrietta Drake-Brockman. The name links the town with the wreck of the Dutch ship "Gilt Dragon" near here in 1656, and the loss of thousands of Guilders it was carrying. Dutch coins and relics of the wreck have been found near the mouth of the Moore River.