The Macadamia tree is native to south eastern Queensland and north eastern New South Wales, growing in rain forests.
Long before colonisation, the Aboriginal people would eat "Kindal Kindal", which we now know as the macadamia nut. In the late 19th century the Macadamia tree was named after scientist Dr. John MacAdam by the Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Australia. MacAdam died shipboard while en route to taste the nut named after him. Macadamia trees grow of up to heights of 15 metres. The nuts grow inside a hard woody shell, which is protected by a husk. The nuts fall to the ground between March and September each year when they are harvested.
Macadamias are a good source of protein, calcium, potassium and dietary fibre and are low in sodium. Although native to Australia, the Macadamia nut was first commercialised in Hawaii in 1948. Australian growers, however, now produce some 40% of the world's supply.
The Australian macadamia is the only major commercial food crop that is native to Australia. Currently about 70 per cent of all Australian macadamia nuts processed are exported as raw kernel, and the remainder are sold in Australia.