Mirani (pronounced Mi-Ranni) is a rural town 30 km west of Mackay. It is the administrative centre of the Mirani Shire, which has as its axis the Pioneer River and Cattle Creek, which rises in the Clarke Range/Eungella national park, west of Mirani.
The Pioneer Valley was initially settled in the 1860s-70s. First used for cattle grazing, sugar soon took over. The railway from Mackay was constructed westwards in stages, reaching Mirani in 1885 (known as Hamilton at first, the town was renamed Mirani in 1886). Mirani remained the rail terminus until 1902 when a 12 km extension was made to Pinnacle.
Mirani primary school was opened in 1892. In 1905 the Queensland At Home directory recorded Mirani as having two hotels (Club and Pioneer), Anglican and Catholic churches, the Mirani turf club, four stores, two butchers, a blacksmith and numerous farmers and selectors. The nearest sugar mill was at Marian, about eight km eastwards.
Mirani Shire was formed in 1913 by severance from Pioneer Shire.
Until the late 1990s Mirani had a smaller population than Marian; it was mostly in the 400s, at one period falling below that in the pre-war years. Consequently there was no great range of town facilities, although a cinema was recorded in the late 1940s, along with a school of arts. Nevertheless, Mirani is the centrally positioned town in the Pioneer Valley, and a high school was opened there in 1967. It had a sharp increase in population in the 1990s, and the shire undertook town sewerage works in 2006. Local cane farmers, hurt financially by poor sugar prices, wanted to subdivide and sell up, but they were opposed by the sugar industry which wanted to keep growers on the land to produce economic crushings for the sugar mills.
Mirani has a community hall, a museum (1988), a swimming pool, the Pioneer Valley golf club, a hotel and two caravan parks. Its railway station (c1885) is on the Queensland heritage register.
Its census populations have been: