An over keen photographer or social media influencer traipsing through fields for a snazzy selfie with sunflowers in bloom, can be damaging and dangerous for both the crops and the snapper.
But one farm in the Toowoomba Region, Qld, has welcomed those looking for a sunflower selfie as a clever way of keeping the tourists and local farmers safe and happy.
Over the last several weeks Warraba Sunflowers at Cambooya, Qld, has been visited by thousands of visitors keen to get up close and personal with their crop, purpose-planted for visitors.
A million sunflower seeds were sown using drones according to Pandora Bevan, who is business manager for both the property and Drone Commander Australia, and the summer holiday bloom has been a boom for local tourism.
"The reason we started opening the farm to the public is we saw a lot of sunflower farmers were having ongoing issues with tourists, dangerously parking their car on the side of the highway and trespassing onto properties to get photos," she said.
"And these are crops, grown for sunflower oil or sunflower seed, and that is a huge biosecurity risk when you have all these people traipsing through with who-knows-what on their shoes.
"The farmers got really sick of it and we saw a need for people wanting to go into the sunflowers and we experimentally planted the sunflowers with our drones."
This is the third time a "purely for tourism" sunflower crop has been presented to the public.
Ove the last three weeks visitors paid an entry fee to the farm and could stroll amongst flowers and leave with a bloom.
Last weekend as the flowers began to fade guests were invited to pick as much as they could carry before the leftover was ploughed back into the field in preparation for the next planting.
Ms Bevan said the final weekend was an overwhelming success.
"People were so happy - they really enjoyed coming out for a country drive," she said.
"We saw a lot of visitors from the Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast areas, as well as locals from Toowoomba.
"We had people come prepared with trolleys, loading prams full, people loved being able to come in and take as many sunflowers as they like, it's been a nice thing to do for the community."
And the concept even attracted local farmers curious to find out why a crop would attract tourists in their droves.
"We had a lot of farmers come through over the weekend, just amazed because to them sunflowers aren't a photo opportunity, it's a crop," she said.
"They were asking a lot of questions and we all agreed it has really only become a thing with people wanting photos in the last 5 years with the rise of social media and the issue is it's farmers livelihood, that's their income source, and you can't trespass and tread on crops that are going to be harvested."
"So we saw an opportunity to open ours to the public, say 'hey go wild, come on in and take your photos, pick some flowers, bring your dogs, have a picnic' and they get a whole farm experience and not damage crops for harvest."
The selfie sunflower field will continue Ms Bevan said, with a winter crop planned for May/June.
And while highly successful Ms Bevan advised any farmer looking to create a visitor experience must be prepared to face certain challenges.
"The interest is there and I'm sure we will see more of it in coming years," she said.
"It is hard to manage from a logistical point of view, having thousands of people come through your property and making sure they are aware of things that come with a farm.
"The possibility of snakes, looking out for barbwire fences, there is work that goes on behind the scenes, but we have definitely received support from the community."
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