The mountain is named after Heinrich "Henry" August Keil who settled on the eastern slopes in 1880. Henry Keil was the son of one of the early Lutheran missionaries/settlers of Brisbane. The Keils were prominent Salvationists during the early growth of the Salvation Army on the Sunshine Coast, and were known for their charity to the local Aborigines.
Kiels Mountain school was built on land near the corner of Preston and Diddillibah Roads, between Woombye and Diddillibah. It opened on 23 September 1918 and closed on 15 April 1962.
On 7 December 2003, 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe disappeared while waiting for a bus on Nambour-Connection Rd (Old Bruce Highway), near the Kiel Mountain Road overpass at Woombye. An arrest was made in August 2011 in connection with his death. His remains were discovered near the Glass House Mountains.
At the summit of Kiels Mountain is Avatar's Abode, a 99-acre (400,000 m2) spiritual retreat dedicated to Meher Baba (1894-1969) who stayed there in 1958. Avatar's Abode is the oldest and longest-running Eastern retreat in Queensland. A large private school, Suncoast Christian College, and its associated is located by the juncture of the Kiels Mountain road and the old Bruce Highway.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Kiels Mountain (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- "Kiels Mountain - locality in Sunshine Coast Region (entry 48700)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
- "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
- "Kiels Mountain - mountain in the Sunshine Coast Region (entry 18081)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
- Kerkhove, Ray (2018). "Heinrich Keil and the origins of Kiels Mountain and Diddillibah, Queensland, Australia". The Australasian Journal of Salvation Army History. 3 (1): 13–20.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Kiels Mountain (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 October 2014.