Our Story

Macadamia nuts are Queensland’s gift to the world. Native to rainforests in our sunshine state, they have been harvested by Indigenous Australians for centuries and progressively shared with the rest of the world through commercial macadamia production in the 1960s.

From whacking with hammers, smashing with bricks and using modern-day nut crackers, everyone who has tried to crack a macadamia knows that the moreish kernel waiting inside its rock-hard shell is worth the effort.

Happy Nut makes snacking on this nutritious, creamy nut into something easy, joyful and experiential - we call them ‘happy moments’. After pre-slitting the shells and delicately dry roasting them to perfection, just an easy twist of the included stainless steel ‘Key to Happiness’ is all it takes to reveal their addictively crunchy kernels.

Let us take you on a journey through our family's farming history and back in time to when ancient macadamias grew wild in the region's rainforests.

Heritage

The Steinhardt family has been growing fresh food in Bundaberg since 1958. Cultivating their small plot of land in Bundaberg, the family started with tomatoes, peanuts and other small crops before converting their fertile soils to macadamia orchards in the early 2000s. In 2023, the family business branched off and Freedom Fresh Australia was created. Freedom Fresh Australia now exclusively produces and markets the globally renowned Happy Nut range.

Our founding farmers, Ron and Marion Steinhardt

Father and son, Ron and Trevor Steinhardt

Our Region

The productive food basket of Bundaberg rests between pristine beaches and native bushland, at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Made famous by the sugar industry and iconic rum sharing its name, Bundaberg has also grown to become Australia’s premier macadamia growing region.

With a sub-tropical climate, year-round sunshine and cool breezes blowing in from the Coral Sea, the native macadamias have everything they need to thrive.

With the adoption of sustainable farming practices throughout the area, you can expect a premium quality product that creates a positive impact on this valuable ‘food bowl’ region, its communities and to the future of farming.

The Bundaberg region has been crucial to Australia becoming one of the two dominant producers of macadamia nuts in the world.

Long-term investment in sustainable growing practices and productivity improvements are delivering better soil and tree health which is resulting in more consistent yields.

Ancient Origins

Macadamia nuts make up part of Australia’s rich history and have a special connection with Indigenous Australians. Native to the rainforests of South East Queensland, which is part of our growing region, macadamia trees first evolved over 60 million years ago. They have long been considered a nourishing food source, and that is still true today.

To reach the rainforest’s dense canopy, macadamias treelings must compete for light. They often wait decades, growing only a centimetre or two each year, until a neighbouring tree falls and gives them enough sunshine to reach their full potential.

In a modern orchard, where macadamias are free from competition and are cared for in optimal conditions, they can fruit in as little as four years, and reach maturity from around 10 years.

Above: Macadamia historian and industry expert, Ian McConachie OAM, in the Amamoor State Forest on the East coast of Queensland, finding a wild macadamia tree in its natural habitat.