Maleny is a charming major township on the southern edge of the Blackall Range, affording views over the coast and the Glass House Mountains. The town is populated with many galleries, arts studios and speciality shops.

Location: 90 km north of Brisbane; 436 m above sea-level.

Natural features: Blackall Range; Glasshouse Mountains; Mary Cairncross Reserve (a 52 hectare remnant of the natural rainforest which once covered Blackall Range); Howells Knob Lookout.

Built features: Maleny Handicrafts Market; Lake Baroon/Baroon Pocket Dam (1989); Maleny Light Horse Museum

Obi Obi Gorge

Kondalilla National Park on the Western slopes of the Blackall Ranges offers a lovely day of walking on the newly constructed track through Obi Obi National Park, with great views of the Narrows and Obi Obi Gorge. The Obi Obi Creek flows from headwaters south west of Maleny through the township and into Lake Baroon. Deep in the valley behind the dam wall, it continues its journey over waterfalls and rapids into the Mary River near Kenilworth. The gorge is about 250m long.

Origin of name: Mapleton was first known as Blackall Range, then Luton Vale. It was renamed when a specific postal address was required in 1893 to replace Blackall Range. Reportedly, Mapleton was the name selected by local residents at the suggestion of one of their number, William Smith, who had read about "a pretty little place on top of a hill named Mapleton in England" in a contemporary novel. Mapleton is the name of a village in Derbyshire, but it is unknown whether it has any connection with the Qld name.

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Brief history

The area was once occupied by the Bonyi Bonyi Aborigines (other sources say the Gubbi Gubbi or even the Kabi Kabi people), who once gathered at Baroon Pocket, on the banks of the Obi Obi River, to feast on Bunya nuts. The first European through the area was explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. Timbergetters moved in during the 1860s and established a mill. Isaac Burgess selected the land on which the township now stands in November 1878. Dairy and beef cattle were brought into the area to feed on the rich grasses produced by the generous annual rainfall (2056 mm) and the rich, red volcanic soils of the range.

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