Araucaria heterophylla, the Norfolk Island Pine, is from an ancient family of conifers. It is endemic to (surprisingly!) Norfolk Island, a small speck in the South Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. They can grow up to 60 metres tall and can survive cyclonic winds.
It is almost impossible to visit any seaside town in Northern NSW and Southern Queensland and not see their graceful and symmetrical shapes silhouetted against the sky. They are often planted in avenues and although they look very impressive, lots of people who share their front yard with the pines dislike them for the incessant dropping of their scaly leaves or the allergic reaction they receive from touching them. For these reasons I think I have to add them to my Northern NSW Hall of Fame & Shame.