People are flocking to the sunflower fields in Allora, two and a half hours inland from the Gold Coast, to rubberneck at the big ol’ blooms and maybe, possibly, take a cheeky Insta or two.
But because people are idiots, there’s a whole lot of unsafe behaviour going on on the roads near the fields: pedestrians running across highways, cars slowing down to look or snap photos, parking halfway onto the road, opening doors into the path of oncoming cars.
Now police are warning that someone could get killed at one of the prime photo spots, after there were two crashes on the New England Highway in the space of ten minutes.
Five people were injured in two separate incidents, one involving a rollover and one where two cars collided, The Courier-Mail reports. The first driver was issued a ticket for following a vehicle too closely, and the second crash was reportedly after one car slowed on the highway.
“Someone said they saw someone setting up a camera on a tripod in the road, it’s like they don’t realise it’s a main highway,” one resident told the paper.
“They’re just meandering around like they’ve got all the space in the world.”
The visitors have also attracted criticism for wandering into the fields to get their totally original “follow me” Insta shot, forgetting that it’s, y’know, private property.
Allora’s sunflowers are so lovely. Not so lovely is watching the hordes of visitors out in the middle of the crop. Is a selfie really worth trampling the plants, creating a biosecurity risk and the chance of snakebite? Stay on the roadside and out of the paddocks, people. #agchat
— Victoria Nugent (@toria_jayne) January 20, 2019
The Queensland government encourages tourists to head inland and visit the fields, with the blog at Queensland.com telling visitors:
“Tip: You’ll know that you’ve stumbled across a blooming field when you see multiple cars parked out front. … Practice your photography skills and be the envy of your friends and Instagram followers with that perfect candid shot.”
But also adds:
“When you visit the sunflower fields, please be mindful that these sunflowers grow in the farmlands and crop fields of hard working Queenslanders. Remember to be respectful and do not trespass or damage property or sunflowers trying to get the perfect picture. The best thing you can do is admire the sunflowers from a distance.”
I know you’re in Queensland and all, folks – the Florida of Australia – but let’s try not to die getting a cute picture to go with a Post Malone quote, mmkay?