Buderim was seen as a resource for timbergetters, as huge stands of Beech and Australian Red Cedar grew across the mountain. Some trees were so large they were wasted due to the lack of transport to carry them down to the river for despatch to Brisbane. Once clear felled, the plateau was used for farming. The rich red volcanic soil found on Buderim made the area particularly suited to growing almost everything, from bananas to small crops. The most notable were coffee and (in the 20th century) ginger, the crop which made Buderim famous. The farming pioneer Burnett won awards for the quality of his coffee at shows in London during the late 19th century.
In the middle of the 20th century the largest ginger processing facility in the southern hemisphere was built, and operated as the Buderim Ginger Factory until it closed and operations were moved closer to other ginger growing areas near Yandina.
As the value of their produce was eroded, many farmers left the land to find work elsewhere. This was very much the fate of the Lindsay family, who farmed massive orchards around the road which now bears their name.
In recent times, the value of Buderim as real estate, largely due to its altitude, its proximity to the Sunshine Coast beaches and its pleasant climate, has soared, and this has pressured many others out of the rural lifestyle, as housing development increased in and around Buderim Mountain. Thanks to the huge leap in real-estate values during the first decade of 2000, steep land was developed that was previously deemed too expensive to engineer for housing. Due to these developments, the remainder of the farming land and much of the secondary growth rainforest on the escarpment has disappeared. Fortunately, substantial rainforest remnants remain, especially in the protected area known as the Foote Reserve which provides well-maintained public walking paths and BBQ facilities. There is also ready access to the picturesque Buderim Falls. The area is home to an abundance of native wildlife, notably colourful king parrots and lorikeets. Brush turkeys are also a common sight, as are families of kangaroos and wallabies.
Nowadays, the Mountain is notable for the enormous variety of its architectural styles, which range from the classic ‘Queenslander’ to ultra-modern one-off designs. The steep and densely wooded terrain provides architectural surprises at every turn, and many homes, especially those ‘on top’ with ocean views, sell for seven-figure sums. One celebrated ‘mansion’, straddling four blocks, has recently been on the market for ‘offers over $20 million’.
Buderim contains a significant heritage relic of the early days in the form of Pioneer Cottage, restored and cared for by the Buderim Historical Society. Between 1915 and 1935 a railway ran from Buderim to Palmwoods, carrying a wide variety of produce. A substantial section of the old track has been cleared and now provides a fine scenic walking trail. The magnificent old Krauss steam locomotive which previously hauled the carriages along this track is currently undergoing restoration and is already on static display.