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
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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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.