You can find a Bunya Bunya tree near the lemon orchard and 2 in Gracie's Pony Paddock at Green Olive at Red Hill.
Bunya Bunya trees (Bunya Pines) are large cone-bearing trees native to the south-east tropical forests of Queensland. Despite its colloquial name, the Bunya Bunya is not a pine tree, but was named the Bunya Pine by European settlers. The Australian Aboriginal name Bunya Bunya is also given to the cones of the tree which bear edible seeds that taste like roasted chestnuts. For thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans in 1770, Indigenous people lived in clans throughout Australia. During the summer, Aboriginal clans would come together at the Bunya Mountains in Queensland and feast on the nuts from the Bunya Bunya. Bunya Bunya trees are huge, growing up to 45 metres, and their cones weighing up to 10kg, so when the cones would fall in the summertime, there would be enough nuts to support a large gathering of Indigenous people. It is said that under the Bunya Bunya trees, various ceremonies would take place, making the Bunya Bunya a culturally significant tree for Aboriginal Australians, in addition to being an important part of their diet.
The cones of the Bunya Bunya weigh 10kg and are larger than a pineapple!
Interesting Facts about Bunya Bunya
- Bunya Pines are living fossils of the Araucariaceae flora family which grew across the world during the Jurassic period.
- The wood of Bunya Bunya is highly valued because it is known as 'tonewood' which means that it possesses tonal properties which make it good for woodwind and acoustic stringed instruments.
- The nuts from the cones are said to be similar to that of a chestnut and are gluten free!
- On the Princess Lawn at the Melbourne Gardens grows a 140 year old Bunya Pine which was planted by Lady Bown, wife of Victoria's Governor General at the time. The tree was nomiated for Victorian Tree of the Year in 2019.
Interested in learning more about Australian bush foods? We are developing a range of products and experiences that will allow you to feel, smell and taste bush tucker. In the meantime, check out our bush tucker garden to learn about some of the other native Australian flora that we’ve planted.