The Palmwoods area makes a lovely drive through the country side, situated in the valley below the Blackall Range, on the coastal side.
The small town now known as Palmwoods (named after the Piccabeen Palms that grow in the area) was originally called Merriman Flats and is at the Northern end of the valley. It can be reached via the ‘Hunchy’ or Razorback Road from Montville, or from the Bruce Highway via Kiel Mountain.
There are also unique cafes, boutique shops and quirky bars and local events scheduled throughout the year including Time Warp Festival.
A stones throw from the Big Pineapple, and Nambour, it is a luscious green hilly area, and a gateway to the coast. A great area to sit in a café with a good book as you watch the world go by.
Palmwoods was originally known as ‘Merriman’s Flat’, a name provided by the selector Peter Kuskoff who settled in the district in 1881. Land selection had begun earlier in the 1870s and by 1889 there were approximately 100 selectors growing primarily fruit. The arrival of the North Coast Railway in the district in 1891 provided an important economic boon. The population doubled, the district (and town) was renamed Palmwoods and farmers now had easy access to markets with the proximity of the railway. The Palmwoods’ Fruit Growers’ Association was formed in 1899 and Palmwoods Progress Association in 1902.
The town was greatly improved in the 1910s. A general store and hotel were constructed in 1912 and the English, Scottish & Australian (ES&A) bank and residence were built in 1915. At the time, the local newspaper noted that the bank had ‘shown its confidence by erecting a commodious building with a fine large residence adjoining’ (Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, 1 October 1915: 3). It is the first purpose-built bank in Palmwoods and the ‘fine large residence’ was a strong projection of the bank’s status in the small town. The ES&A Bank was a prominent banking institution in the Council area, opening branches in Palmwoods, Landsborough, Maleny, Yandina, Nambour, Kenilworth, Eumundi, Caloundra, Eudlo and Beerwah. The bank was confident because of the construction of the Palmwoods to Buderim Tramway, opened in January 1915. The tramway connected Buderim to the railway and also prompted interest in Buderim as a resort, with tourists travelling to Palmwoods by rail and then to Buderim by tram. The tramway, built by the former Maroochy Shire Council, operated until 1935. The value of the tramway declined from the 1920s primarily due to the advent of motorised transport. However, in its early years it promoted the development of Buderim and, by extension, Palmwoods. Palmwoods was also a gateway to Montville, a favoured resort in the Blackall Range, otherwise referred to at the time as ‘Queensland’s Blue Mountains’.
History Source - 'Thematic History of the Sunshine Coast', Sunshine Coast Heritage Study, Sunshine Coast Council, August 2019