This species is found in the dry tropical forests of New South Wales and Queensland, as well as in New Guinea. Trees can live up to 450 years and grow to a height of 60 m The bark is uneven, cracks naturally and easily peels off. Leaves on young trees are subulate, 1-2 cm long, at the base about 2 mm thick, on mature trees they are scaly, elongated, 1-2 cm long and 4 mm wide. Cones are ovoid, 8-10 cm long and 6-8 cm in diameter, takes about 18 months to mature. When ripe, the buds disintegrate, releasing nut-like edible seeds.high quality wood used for furniture, veneer, joinery, panels, particle boards, floors and boats. Most of the natural stands in Australia and Papua New Guinea have been depleted by deforestation. At present, Araucaria cunninghamii is mainly found in forest plantations; it also continues to grow in conservation areas, including Lamington National Park, after which at least one hiking trail is named. Plantations in Queensland were damaged by the aboriginal rat - Rattus tunneyi, which digs the roots of an immature tree and kills it, for this reason the animal was declared a pest
Hoop pine is an asymmetrical, evergreen coniferous species of tree which will grow to mature height of 200 feet (60 m) tall with a 12 foot (4 m) girth. Its bark is rough, growing in horizontal bands, and exfoliating in fine circular bands. Branches are long, branchlets appear in tufts at the branch ends. Seasonal branchlets are up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) in diameter. Juvenile leaves are spirally arranged, green or glaucous, with entire, flattened margins and stomata on both surfaces. Adult leaves scale-like, 0.3 to 0.8 inch (0.8 - 2 cm) long and are incurved, acute, imbricate, and keeled on both sides with stomata on both surfaces. Pollen cones are cylindrical, 0.8 to 1.2 inches (2 - 3 cm) long by 0.2 to 0.28 inch (5 - 7 mm) wide. Microsporophylls are rhombic and obtuse. Seed cones are ovoid, symmetrical, 3.2 to 4 inches (8 - 10 cm) long by 2.5 to 3.2 inches (6 - 8 cm) wide with scales having longer reflexed spines than the New Guinea plants. Seeds are 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) long by ca. 0.25 inch (6 - 7 mm) wide, with narrow wings.Distribution. This species is native to Australia — coastal tropical and subtropical rain forests from northern Queensland to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, at sea level to 3,500 feet (0 - 1,000 m) elevation. Variety papuana occurs in western New Guinea — the Arfak Mountains.
The wood is a high quality timber that is particularly important to the plywood industry and also used for furniture, veneer, joinery, panelling, particle board, flooring and boats. Most natural stands in Australia and Papua New Guinea have been depleted by logging. It is now mainly found on timber plantations; however, the species continues to thrive in protected areas, including Lamington National Park where at least one walking track is named after it.