Pullenvale, a rural/residential suburb, is 14 km south-west of central Brisbane and five km beyond Indooroopilly. Most of Pullenvale is drained by the Pullen Creek and its numerous tributaries, flowing south-east to the Brisbane River at Bellbowrie. The western part of the suburb (mostly the 490 ha Pullenvale State Forest) is drained by a separate stream system that joins the river opposite Karalee.
Pullenvale is named after the creek, but the meaning, probably Aboriginal in origin, is unknown.
The landscape is mixed, varying from fertile hills to tree-covered ridges. Farming was also mixed, including cotton growing, fruit (principally bananas, pineapples, paw paws) and dairying. After farm selections in the early 1870s, a school was opened in 1874, followed by a post office (1878-1958). Pullenvale was an outlying part of Moggill Shire (until 1925), which was headquartered in Kenmore. The first significant urban development in Pullenvale was the Kenmore Repatriation Hospital (1945) on the eastern border, in Moggill Road. In 1968 the Brisbane Independent School was opened a short way from the hospital. A community primary school, it was an indication of advancing urban settlement. Five years later, Airlie Road was lined with colonial houses. There are also several successful examples of historic dwellings being re-erected in Pullenvale. The State primary school was rebuilt in 1981 and the original building was recycled to the Pullenvale Field Study Centre.
Most allotments are 'acreages'. Houses are described as having character and a pastoral feel, situated in a 'country retreat with the conveniences of city living'. During the 2000s metropolitan real-estate pages in the newspapers often featured spacious houses for sale. An estate near the State Forest was described as a boutique acreage estate (twenty x 4 ha sites), with town water, underground power and gated entry. A local councillor warned that some sites were goat country - 10 acres, but only a building location. Purchasers would pay all access costs. Nevertheless, established houses and sites maintained their appeal.
Pullenvale had a high 4WD vehicle ownership (2004) and was the fifth highest median income suburb in metropolitan Brisbane, higher than Ascot and Bridgeman Downs (2001).
Pullenvale has a State primary school, a public hall (formerly a pineapple packing shed), and an environmental education centre.
In January 2011 flooding from Moggill Creek invaded Pullenvale, but was more extensive in neighbouring Brookfield and Pinjarra Hills.
Its census populations have been: