If you are looking for a getaway to unwind and and enjoy nature, then visiting Maleny, Queensland is a must-do!
Located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Maleny (pronounced Mah-Lay-Knee) is a 90-minute drive north of Brisbane via the M1, surrounded by popular destinations such as Noosa and Caloundra.
Discover forest walks, sightseeing and more unique activities when visiting the Maleny. Visiting the town is also a must as you will immediately feel the community spirit through the niche cafés and craft shops.
You may also love our New City Guide: The Sunshine Coast for everything you need to know about other stunning areas and attractions on the Sunny Coast, as the locals call it.
Origins of Maleny.
The historical area of Maleny is 425 metres above sea level, located on the southern edge of the Blackall Range, home to the famous Bunya pine.
When the Maleny district was first settled by Europeans in the 1870s, the lush Sunshine Coast Hinterland area was named Maleny, derived from the village of Malleny in Scotland. Europeans were attracted to the Blackall Ranges due to the abundant supply of red cedar and other valuable timbers.
For the traditional landowners, the Bunya trees ripe in the area hold significant meaning, with the area once hosting important cultural gatherings. While the traditional festivals of the pre-settlement times became not possible due to the European settlement, Elders still travel to the area twice a year for a smoke ceremony and other gatherings.
Blackall Range School became the first school of the Maleny district in 1886, while the second school at Teutoberg was established in 1892. Dairying became a budding industry by 1904 for Maleny when the first butter factory opened, while a second factory opened in 1912. Local dairy product was driven to the Landsborough railhead creating a significant income for Maleny town development.
Keeping heritage alive.
When visiting Maleny, make sure to keep an eye out for the street signs located in the town centre as some streets, such as Maple, Myrtle, Bunya and Cedar are in memory of the timber harvesting years. Since Maleny’s early days, the town has grown in population, with the 2011 census showing a population of 3441. The rural town has become popular for its specialty shops, while being known for its arts and crafts centre.
The Maleny Council celebrates its strong towns arts culture, renowned dairy farming, producers and hinterland tourism. With eco-friendly values and a small-town feel, you will get the real feel of Maleny’s lifestyle after visiting the coffee lounges, galleries and trying the locals amazing produce.
Maple Street, Maleny.
While you’re in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, you simply must soak up all that is Maple Street in Maleny! Located in the city centre, this is where you will discover good food, perfect souvenirs and be able to pick-up any groceries. Everything you could need on your trip is situated in the heart of the town, including the Maleny visitor information centre and plenty of accommodation if you are in need of a place to stay in Maleny.
Arts & cafés.
From art galleries to craft shops, you can tell the Maleny people appreciate art in all forms. Make sure to check out Art Direct for art created in all forms by residents. If you are an admirer of art galleries there are plenty to chose from in the town’s centre.
Then when you are needing a break from the local galleries, support local business and find eateries like the award winning ice creamery Maleny Food Co to recharge.
The Maleny Community Centre (MCC) is a local Sunshine Coast hub that supports all things arts and cultural. Owned and run by Maleny residents for more than 100 years, the MCC works together with other regional community organisations to continue social and cultural service.
From rustic cottages to luxury retreats, Maleny accommodation caters to an experience of your liking. Maleny has been made popular for its picturesque views of the Sunshine Coast valleys and Glasshouse Mountains, perfect for planning a romantic getaway.
10 Best Things to Do in Maleny
1. Visit Maleny Lookouts.
If you consider yourself a bit of a looker, as in one who loves a scenic lookout destination, then Maleny definitely provides the goods. Some of the top lookouts you can find throughout the Maleny area include Balmoral, Gerrards, Howells Knob, McCarthy’s and Obi Valley Lookouts.
You may also like: Best 4WD Tracks on the Sunshine Coast.
2. Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World.
With The Glass House Mountains as a stunning backdrop, make sure you stick your beak into Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World. The 18 acres of Maleny Botanic Garden displays unique gardens and majestic waterfalls and native plants.
While you are at Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World make sure to book in a tour to learn about over 700 feathery residents throughout the four aviaries.
3. Kondalilla Falls.
While any time of year works, the summertime is the perfect season to drop into the Kondalilla National Park, located in the Blackall Range. Take the Picnic Creek circuit and descend the Kondalilla Falls circuit to discover the picturesque and find the hidden swimming hole. Take on the 300 stairs flight to reach the breath-taking waterfall perfect for any photo opportunity.
4. Artists Cascades.
Artists Cascades is roughly a 45-minute drive from Maleny while being a perfect place to escape from the summer heat. When visiting the Artists Cascades, follow the walking paths to discover waterfall and swimming hole. A historical location once a famous gold mine built in 1920, is the Booloumba Creek trail.
5. Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.
The beautiful Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve is a popular destination to visit in Maleny. This 55 acres of rainforest welcomes visitors to learn about indigenous species of animals and plants, while having a museum to learn about extinct species that were once part of the habitat.
There are plenty of activities you can enjoy when visiting the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, such as guided walks, a rainforest eco-hunt, visit to the Rainforest Discovery Centre and more.
6. Maleny Mountain Wines.
Enjoy spectacular views at the Maleny Mountain Wines, one of the Sunshine Coast’s premier wineries. With their 8-barrel-high showroom, discover a huge collection of premium wines.
This unique winery is shaped like a giant wine barrel and can be found an 8-minute drive from Maple Street. Some of the popular drops found in the winery are the Maleny Rose, Maleny Bubbles and Sweet Sunshine.
7. Baroon Pocket Dam.
Baroon Pocket Dam is shared between both Maleny and Montville, situated across from the Obi Obi Creek. The space provides the perfect family outing with BBQs to use, playgrounds for the kiddies and a lake for fishing or swimming.
If you have a sailboat or canoe, Lake Baroon on the Northern Recreational Area of the dam is perfect for sailing or a paddle in the right conditions.
8. Obi Broadwalk.
The Obi Boardwalk running alongside the Obi Obi Creek is another popular location to visit when in Maleny. Get there early in the morning or late in the day for a possible platypus sightings at the Showgrounds Bridge over Coral Street/Maleny Stanley River Road. The Obi Obi Creek also has a 6.7kms Maleny Trail Circuit for hiking lovers!
9. Gardener Falls.
Gardners Falls can be found near the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, downstream from the Obi Creek. If you are driving, park your car at Obi Obi Creek and follow the small stream towards the hidden waterfall. Visiting Gardeners Falls is ideal for a relaxing day of swimming, laying in the sun and enjoying nature.
10. Baxter Falls in Flaxton.
Experience the dramatic views of Baxter Falls in Flaxton. These falls are perfect for a family outing as it is an easy hike around the area. The path is narrow and steep in some places so it will be hard but the sight of the waterfall is well worth it. Head towards Flaxton Mill Road Sunshine Coast to enter the area.
Need a place to eat while you’re in Maleny? Find the highest rated cafés on the Sunshine Coast on Localsearch.com.au!