Well they didn't take long to ripen! The cones opened on the weekend and when I picked up the cone it fell apart and you could see the nuts inside! And I was such a doubting Thomas!
You can see the nuts quite clearly and they are easy to remove from the cone leaves. Here is a picture of my daughter with the harvest from one and half cones. Even she can get the nuts out of a cone leaf.
The nuts themselves are encased in a leathery shell which is really hard to open! I tried two methods of getting them out, I roasted some and I boiled some.
I ended up roasting too long I think, because not only could I not get them out easily (I used a hammer to break them), but the nuts tasted burnt. I had put them in the oven for half an hour at 200 degrees. But they didn't explode like someone said they do when you throw them on an open fire. The boiled ones were much better. I boiled them for half an hour and then they were easier to shell. I took a kitchen scissors and poked it into the pointy end of the nut which was quite soft, and then cut along the nut so I could open it. It was like cutting thick cardboard.
So there you have it! Even my daughter ate the nuts, she thought they were yummy. I ate them plain, and they taste like chestnuts, and seem to be quite fleshy. Some of them even had a sprout in the middle of the nuts. I was throwing them out, but I tried one and it was quite nice too. Looks like I'll be grabbing Bunya nuts every year from the cemetary :)