Maleny (pronounced mah-lay-knee) is 90 kilometres (56 mi) 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 (in North Maleny). The name Maleny is probably derived from the parish name, which in turn is possibly derived from the Scottish place name Malleny, a village in Midlothian, Scotland. 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. Maleny is situated approximately 450 metres (1,500 ft) 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 40 hectares [100 acres]) which now forms Mary Cairncross Reserve.
The first white settlers arrived in the area in 1887. The town was originally called Razorback, but was renamed following a community meeting. The name Montville was proposed by storekeeper Henry Smith (who bought a selection of land there in 1893) after a suggestion by his mother, as it reminded her of their early years in Montville, USA. Alternatively it is a coined word from mont meaning mountain and ville meaning town. The name was officially changed to Montville on 30th November 1897. The town is now a popular short break tourist destination for the people of Brisbane and is famous for its parks and walks including the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. Popular attractions include galleries, restaurants, wineries, clock shop, cheese factory and craft and clothing shops. The world-renowned Australia Zoo is a 20-minute drive down the range at nearby Beerwah. Montville is becoming a very popular location for destination weddings at its many resorts, b&bs, wineries and restaurants. The Baroon Pocket Dam in nearby North Maleny, which provides water for Caloundra and Maroochydore, is also a recreational facility, permitting boating, fishing and picnicking.