Maleny is a small, scenic town 90 kilometres north of Brisbane on the Blackall Range overlooking the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Nearby towns include Landsborough, Montville, Peachester, Palmwoods and Hunchy. Nearby places of geographical significance include the Glass House Mountains and Baroon Pocket Dam.
Maleny is situated approximately 450 metres above sea level, among the characteristic rolling green hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Prior to European settlement, the area was covered in thick sub-tropical rainforest with huge hardwood trees. Loggers in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries opened up the area seeking valuable timber, which was prized locally and in Europe. Heavy logging led to the almost complete denuding of the rainforest clad hills in the district around Maleny. Only a few pockets of forest remain in steeper terrain and in one large remnant patch (around 100 Acres) which now forms Mary Cairncross Reserve.
Located on the humid eastern slopes of the Blackall Range, Maleny is one of the wettest towns in Queensland away from the north tropical coast. The average annual rainfall is about 2,000 mm; however, during unusually wet years 12-month rainfall totals of up to 4,000 mm can be recorded, with monthly totals over 1,000 mm and 24-hour totals up to 300 mm. Temperatures are mild and rarely get above 35 °C in summer or drop below 5 °C in winter.
The area around Maleny was originally populated by the Nalbo and the Dallambara - two aboriginal tribes of the Gubbi Gubbi language group. The area was known for its bunya feasts which happened every third year when the giant bunya tree was in fruit. The first European to document Maleny was the explorer Ludwig Leichhardt who describes the area in his travel diary in 1844. The first European settlement followed in the wake of the Gympie gold rush of 1867. A track linking Maleny to Landsborough was cut in 1880.
An official proclamation of Maleny as a town occurred in 1891. The Maleny Butter Factory began operation in 1904. Maleny was a timber town until the early 1920s and then was a centre of dairy production and fruit growing. Although a campaign to have a police station in the town was started in the 1920s it wasn't until 1952 that permission to convert a house into the current police station and residence was granted. Maleny Post Office opened by February 1906 (a receiving office had been open from 1889). On 15 August 1995, the Queensland Governor Leneen Ford dedicated the Maleny War Memorial. For one hundred years, the Maleny Community Centre has provided facilities to residents and visitors for a wide range of activities. Located in the middle of town, the original centre was established just after the turn of the 20th century, the result of a gift by one of its residents.
Maleny has replaced its timber-cutting and dairying past with tourism with a large influx of people who wanted an alternative lifestyle. As well as being on the Hinterland tourist drive, Maleny attracts day trippers from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast who are attracted to the various stores, art galleries and specialty shops.
Maleny has a number of heritage listed sites, including
Post Code 4552, Distance to Brisbane CBD 90km