A sea of gold is brightening up the rural landscape across the Downs and surrounds. The annual sunflower season has begun, with fields of the tall yellow flower blooming throughout the region.

The sunflower season takes place from late January to March each year, depending on the annual rainfall. This season, the first field of sunflowers was spotted at Hoey Road, Spring Creek, 30 minutes north of Warwick. Prolific fields can be found in the townships of Allora and Nobby, outside Toowoomba. Those wishing to make a day of exploring the sunflowers can take the Sunflower Route, a 50 kilometre round trip to Allora, departing and returning to Warwick. The Route takes visitors through the patchwork countryside of ploughed black soil, green lucerne and grazing crops, and brick-red sorghum. While in Allora, there are several sites to explore. The town boasts many quiet parks, gardens, and charming heritage listed streetscape. Other attractions in the vicinity include heritage listed Glengallan Homestead.

Warwick Visitor Information Centre reminded visitors to act appropriately when exploring the fields. Sunflower’s grow on private land and fence lines should be observed, and litter should not be left on the premises or by the roadside. People should also be mindful of wildlife which may be hiding in the sunflowers, including bees, spiders and snakes. “These flowers are the farmer’s livelihood, and respecting the boundaries will help bring about a productive harvest of sunflower oil.”

Farmers ask that visitors respect their crop and do not steal flowers. Adverse conditions in the region mean this crop is essential to the livelihood of the farmer’s and their families, providing a vital source of income after a tough season. Some farm owners will cut and check flowers for visitors for a small fee.

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