Tinana, on the south side of the Mary River, is reached by the Lamington Bridge from central Maryborough. Its first semi-urban European settler was the Wide Bay Commissioner of Lands, John Carne Bidwell, who built his house, 'Tinana', near the junction of the Tinana Creek and the river in 1849. By 1852 Tinana had a wharf, sawpits, a store and trade with leasehold pastoralists. Several farms were taken up along Tinana Creek, including the Eatonvale sugar plantation. A new arrival, William St Ledger, opened the Erin-go-Bragh Hotel, later the St Ledger Diggers Arms Hotel and, much later, the establishment which became the Tinana Hotel-Motel. The Diggers Arms referred to the gold prospectors who journeyed from Maryborough to Gympie (1867) via a punt operated by St Ledger's brother. A post office and a school were opened in 1873 and 1875, and in 1876 a large timber bridge was built, joining Maryborough with Tinana.

The sugar plantations were prosperous, as were brickworks and orchards, but the 1893 flood not only swept away the bridge but ruined many farms. Their lands were taken up by small cane farmers who supplemented their incomes with dairying for the co-op factory over the river.

The Tinana divisional board and shire operated from 1880 until 1917, when it was incorporated into Burrum Shire. In 1976 Tinana became part of Maryborough city. It has a growing residential area, with shops on Gympie Road, a kindergarten and a primary school. There are the Police Paddock conservation park, a linear park with sporting ovals, a caravan park and two motels. Commissioner Bidwell's grave (1852) in Cran Road is on the Queensland heritage register.

Tinana's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation
1891397
1911733
1933561
1961797 plus 464 near
20064415
20114877
Further Reading: 

Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society, A history of Maryborough Queensland 1842-1997, Maryborough, The Society, 1998

Jocelyn Kemp, Tinana State School: 125 years of memories 1875-2000, Maryborough, Tinana State School P & C Association, 2000