Early in the year is an excellent time to visit the Allora countryside. It’s when many beautiful sunflower fields near Brisbane pop out. The patches of yellow between the green, the red and the gold fields look stunning and add beautiful contrasts to the scenery. As you get closer, the sunflower fields make great photo opportunities.
But is it worth the long drive from Brisbane? What should you expect? What’s the best way to photograph the sunflowers? How to make it a great weekend road trip from Brisbane?
Here are my tips about visiting the sunflower fields near Brisbane.
How to respect the farmers when visiting sunflower fields
Responsible Travel Tip: It’s not the most fun part of the trip, but I thought it was essential to start with some information about how to behave around the sunflower fields. Tourism that annoys locals isn’t sustainable. The sunflower season is great to support small businesses in the Darling Downs region. But to be a responsible traveller, it’s also important to minimise the negative impacts for the farmers.
Too many people put the crops at risk to take their perfect photo.
Never forget the sunflower fields are on private property and equal the farmers’ livelihood. Jumping a fence means trespassing. Even if you don’t touch the sunflowers, you may put the fields in danger by not keeping your distances.
Of course, you should not touch and damage the crops. But it’s slightly more complicated than that.
If you do get close to the fields, make sure you understand the risks to minimise them.
I am in no way supporting entering the fields. We got all our shots by keeping our distances. We did find one sunflower field without a fence and focused on the couple of sunflowers that were on the side just before the actual first front row. It allowed us to take lovely close-up shots without interfering with the farmers’ work. You’ll find tips about photographing the sunflower fields later in the article.
Before you leave home and after hiking or wandering into a field, make sure you brush off your shoes. Clean boots are important for bio-security to avoid spreading weeds and diseases.
Not entering the sunflower fields is also about your own safety.
You’re in Australia’s countryside. There are a few animals that you don’t want to meet in the sunflower fields, like deadly snakes (red belly snakes) and spiders.
Plus, be extra careful if you’re allergic to bees. The success of sunflower crops depend on them, and they’re everywhere. I actually found it fascinating to watch them going from one flower to another.
How to find the sunflower fields near Brisbane
With their growing popularity among amateur photographers, it has become easy to find sunflower fields near Brisbane. Now that you’re aware of the best practice to respect the farmers’ work, here’s a guide on how to find the blooming fields.
There are many sunflower fields between Warwick and Toowoomba.
We went out of the A3 to drive on smaller countryside roads from Cambooya to Nobby and Clifton. We saw many sunflower fields during this countryside drive. There were also plenty of them on each side of the A3, just before Allora.
Remember that not everybody on the road is there to enjoy the sunflower. Other drivers may get surprised if you suddenly stop when seeing a beautiful field! The A3 is a 100-kilometre per hour road, so take your time to stop safely and turn around if needed.
Responsible Travel Tip: Don’t just drive through the region, take your photos, and leave. As a responsible traveller, it’s important to spend your money somehow to support the region you’re visiting. Have lunch at the local pub for example!
The sunflower fields don’t bloom all at the same time.
So even if you know the region where to find them, you’ll still need to look for the fields that are blooming when you visit.
A quick online search will send you on the right p
Tips to photograph the sunflower fields near Brisbane
I’m not going to pretend that I’m a professional photographer who can tell people how to use their camera and the best settings to capture the sunflower fields. It’s not what this is about.
These easy tips can make your amateur photos of the sunflower fields stand out with a touch of originality.
Check where the sun is to maximise the light. You’ll get better results if you can avoid shadows. Also, the backlight can give great effect or ruin a photo. If you are patient enough to wait until then, the light from the sunset can have wonderful effects on some fields.
It’s good to add contrasts with the beautiful yellow of the sunflowers. Think about your clothes or accessories if you plan to shoot portraits. The blue sky behind the sunflowers also makes a fantastic contrasting background. And if you have a slightly cloudy sky, there’s a chance it may become red at sunset and offer an incredible show.
Get high and far! Try climbing on top of your car or bring a stool to get a different perspective on the sunflower fields. It’s beautiful how the cover the entire area of the countryside. This tip also works for portraits when you are in front of a fence a bit far away from the sunflowers. Forget about the selfies. I found we got the best results when the person taking the photo got a bit further away and zoomed it.
Focus on the heart. The shape and the colours are mesmerising. If you’re patient enough, you can try to capture a bee in there.
Don’t go on this trip just for the sunflowers
Instagram has made the sunflower fields near Brisbane become very popular. Some visitors only go there to have their sunflower shot. Although it’s feasible as a day trip, it’s a long way from the city.
To be honest, once you’ve driven to spot the best sunflower fields in Allora and stopped for your photo session, you may have enough sunflower hunting for the day. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything organised around the sunflowers near Allora to make us want to stick around.
But there are things in the broader region that you can add to your weekend getaway. It’s an excellent idea to stay around for the full weekend. It will even give you a chance to catch the sunset on the sunflower fields.
You may be interested in looking for things to do on the way to Allora sunflower fields, or back:
- the Lockyer Valley
- Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt
- Main Range National Park
- Border Ranges National Park
- the Falls Drive
Our countryside road trip itinerary
To give you some inspiration, this is the road trip we did when we included checking out the sunflower fields near Brisbane.
1. The Lockyer Valley
It’s a beautiful drive. We included a stop in Forest Hill to check out roadside fruit and veggie stalls. Forest Hill Farm Shed is the most famous and biggest one. It’s a fantastic way to support local farmers, eat seasonal fruits and veggies and even save money!
If you feel full of energy and aren’t put off by the heat, you can have a challenging fun walk to the top of Table Top Mountain. But there will be better mounts to hike later on this road trip, so you may prefer to save your efforts and have morning tea or lunch with a view instead at the Picnic Lookout. There’s also a winery nearby (Preston Peak Wines) that you can add to the itinerary, but you may want to call them to check if they’re open for wine tasting. They had a function planned when we arrived so they were closed for visitors.
3. The Sunflower Route
Driving from Cambooya to Warwick to check out the beautiful fields.
4. Spend the night in the Warwick area
We chose to stop at R on The Downs*. When we don’t opt for camping, we like to upgrade a lot and book accommodation with something special. We picked R on The Downs* for its unique Bed & Breakfast style and the beautiful spa with amazing views of the countryside. We had a lovely time enjoying the cool breeze while learning more about the area, watching the wildlife and simply relaxing.
I’ve done the Falls Drive and its easy short walks a few times now, and it’s always a pleasure, even on a hot summer day. Queen Mary Falls is among my favourite walks in the region. The Spring Creek Cafe near Carr’s Lookout has lovely views of the valley. You may want to book a table in advance if you plan to stop there for lunch during the weekend.
6. Vineyards in the Scenic Rim
The Scenic Rim is a lovely drive and you may be interested in visiting the two vineyards in the region.
Bunjurgen Estate is all about conviviality and stories. You sit on plastic garden chairs in the shade of a tree in the garden and try the juices and ports made from the grapes that grow on the property.
Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm
7. Mount French lookout
It’s only a five-minute walk (700 m return) from the car park to one of the best lookouts in the Scenic Rim over the Fassifern Valley. From there, you can choose which peak you want to hike next! Mount Cordeaux, Mount Mitchell, Flinders Peak and Mount Greville are among my favourite ones. If you do the slightly longer circuit (850m), you’ll get views of the other side of Mount French (towards Mount Tamborine, Lamington and Mount Barney National Parks) – but the lookout isn’t as impressive as the first walk.
8. Hike Moogerah Peaks
If you want to exercise and build up your legs, these walks are perfect as they only go up and down. Mount Greville is my favourite of the four Moogerah Peaks. The hike took us about 3.5 hours return (up via the south-eastern ridge and down via Palm Gorge). Mount Edwards is shorter (we did it in 2 hours without stopping) but the views are nowhere as good.
9. Sunset on Moogerah Dam
When you’re all sticky after hiking, how about a romantic sunset? There are barbecues near the water if you want to have an early lunch before heading back to Brisbane. But the gates close just after the sunset so keep that in mind when you start cooking.
Have you seen sunflower fields near Brisbane? Share
your experience in the comments below!
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