The trees are large, 40-70 feet tall around here, maybe taller elsewhere, evergreen, fairly pyramidal when young but loosing most of the lower branches with age and becoming somewhat rounded with long upward spreading branches with the majority of the foliage out on the tips. Here is the one at the Mission.
The trunks are mostly bare with age and are very attractive. Not sure how to describe them, they are gray to brown with small bumps.
Female cones are huge (10" x 8") and very heavy, 10-15 pounds. The seeds are edible. You are not likely to find a cone on the ground as they, like true firs and true cedars, fall apart in the tree. You will find large scales which are 2-3" across. I have one from the trees in Scotts Valley by the Pasatiempo Country Club that blew down during a large storm. One of my students brought it to me. I forgot to wire it up in hopes of keeping it from falling apart but here it is.
Male cones are smaller, cylindrical and fall once the pollen is released. Looks like the foliage of another Araucaria, A. heterophylla.
Misidentification? A. auracana, the Monkey Puzzle Tree. Similar, but the leaves are all scale like, maybe 3/4" to 1" long, never long like Bunya-Bunya. Not as common in Santa Cruz (one on 3rd in SC).
Locations: There are several beauties around, The heritage tree on Chestnut (above),
SC Mission by the famous Wine palm
Pasatiempo exit in Scotts Valley.
Also a large old one at the Sesnon house at Cabrillo.