This small, vibrant arts community in the Sunshine Coast hinterland offers spectacular mountain scenery, great food and boutique shopping.
Maleny is a small artistic community in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. One of its biggest draws is the incredible view offered from lookouts all throughout town. Gaze across rolling green pastures and out to the incredible Glasshouse Mountains. Wineries, dairies and nice restaurants bring foodies to the region, while the vibrant arts and crafts scene means there is good shopping. Locals are known for their laid-back attitudes and alternative lifestyles.
Maleny lies on the Blackall Range west of Caloundra in one of the wettest areas in Queensland. Before it became a well-known dairy-farming region, the area around Maleny supported verdant rainforests and huge old trees. Much of the land was cleared in the 1800s, with the town established in 1891. There are still dairy farms today, although the main industry is tourism. Visit the Maleny Cheese Factory to sample and buy local cheeses. Tour the Maleny Dairies Monday to Saturday and enjoy a cup of tea and buy fresh milk and yoghurt.
Restaurants and cafés throughout town showcase the best local produce. Choose from a café serving sandwiches and cakes to a three-course meal at a fine-dining restaurant.
Buy locally made arts and crafts at the markets held at the Maleny RSL every Sunday. Many boutiques and galleries throughout town also stock work produced by the artists who live in and around Maleny.
Get active in the hills surrounding the town. Walk on trails through the Mary Cairncross Reserve, which protects a large area of rainforest just south of Maleny. Peer through the trees at views across the mountain range towards the Glasshouse Mountains. The Obi Obi Creek runs through Maleny and has waterfalls and swimming holes. Swim in the natural pool at the base of nearby Gardner’s Falls. You can find maps and directions at the Maleny Visitor Information Centre in the middle of town.
Maleny is 450 metres (1,476 feet) above sea level. It’s a 1-hour drive from Brisbane airport and about a 30-minute trip from Caloundra. There is free parking throughout town. You’ll need a car to enjoy the surrounding region, which has many wineries, scenic lookouts and eco-resorts.