I’ve only seen two sunflower fields in my lifetime. One was in Tuscany (Italy) while the other was in the Loire Valley in France (see here). The one in Tuscany was beautiful! We found it by chance while touring the countryside. Since it was a chance discovery on an extremely hot day, we stayed for a brief photo shoot and continued on our way. We saw the ones in the Loire Valley around autumn, so they were all blackened by then, their seeds ready for harvesting. We thought that they were all burnt!
Sunflowers are happy flowers!
Sunflowers are happy flowers! Give a bunch to someone and watch their faces light up! Whenever I have some in the house, they are beautiful to wake up to! They’re bright yellow and the flower can be as big as your head! What is there not to like about them? So when you see a field of sunflowers, you can imagine how much pleasure your senses experience! It’s like taking an overdose of happy juices!
Growing your own sunflowers in Melbourne
We grew some sunflowers this year which are now blooming. They’re magnificent to look at as we sit on our front porch enjoying our coffee. We have plans to grow a lot more next summer! Our very own sunflower field in the middle of suburbia! They’re really easy to grow and are great for the bees! Bees are on the decline, which means that our plants aren’t getting pollinated. Seeing the bees buzzing around our sunflowers is quite a sight.
Sunflowerfields near Melbourne
Not long ago, I befriended a lovely lady, Soni, who has the same love of sunflowers as I did. Due to travel restrictions, heading to Europe to see the sunflowers would not be happening for a while! There must be somewhere in Victoria where there are sunflowers! After a quick search, I discovered that there was indeed one and it wasn’t too far away!
My hopes of it being as impressive as the European ones were not too high. But sunflowers were sunflowers and it would be lovely to see them regardless! When the sunflowers were in bloom, we picked a sunny day and took a road trip to Dunnstown, just 15 minutes short of Ballarat, to see them. Fortunately for us, the organisers announced that they would hold a twilight session on that day so photographers could use the sunset time.
There’s a small entry fee of $5 payable at the gate if you haven’t booked online. Upon entering the field, I’m asking ‘where are the sunflowers?’. All I could see were closed buds. I’m sure they posted photos of visitors over the weekend frolicking amongst sunflowers in bloom! Surely they wouldn’t have lured us down to a field of closed sunflowers? They instructed us to walk up the path for a bit and we would see them. A couple of minutes up the path and the fields of gold welcomed us. It’s like walking into a field of happiness!
We went down intending to create some gorgeous photos, so we dressed up and took a picnic along. It’s amazing how much stuff two ladies need to carry to a picnic amongst the sunflowers! It was all worth the effort though. We were the only ones who set up a picnic, which drew envy from people passing by! Someone even asked to use our picnic for their own photos!
So how did this compare with the golden fields in Europe? It was far more spectacular! This was due to the fact that we intentionally went down there, rather than just stumbling across it. We had food, drinks, a lovely picnic setup and the weather was just perfect! Luckily, Sonia was also a photographer so I got some stunning shots of myself there too! We were both in our element. The joy you get from being amongst all those huge yellow sunflowers is indescribable. You just have to go there to experience it for yourselves!
We took heaps of photos, for ourselves and for other people! Everyone was armed with a camera, big and small. By the time we packed up to leave (because there are no toilets there!), it was 8.40 pm! Closing time was 8 pm but the sun hadn’t set so there were plenty of photographers hanging around, even after we had left. We had been there for just over 3 hours! Because we wanted our happiness to last for a while longer, we picked a few sunflowers each to take home with us.
The sunflower picking season will be around until early March if you want to make the trip down there. It really is a fabulous experience! Follow my advice for your trip to get the most enjoyment out of your visit there!
This is not a sponsored post! I love to share experiences which bring me joy!
Pick Your Own Sunflowers Experience – Dunnstown
- Take a camera!
- Photographers and keen photo snappers should listen out for when the twilight sessions are.
- Dress nice for the photos!
- Wear comfy shoes! You’re walking through a paddock.
- Wear a sun hat on a sunny day & put on sunscreen. There is no shade.
- Take some cutters if you want to pick the sunflowers (they do charge per flower … but it’s very reasonable)
- Take a picnic and a rug if you want to hang out there for a while. Makes a nice photo setting as well!
- Take food and drinks along or book at the local pub (The Shamrock Hotel) for a meal before or after.
- Stop at the pub up the road or the Recreation Reserve for a visit to the toilet before going to the sunflowers. There are no toilets on-site! If you leave later as we did, the Recreation Reserve toilets are open.
More info: https://www.pickyourownsunflowers.com/
Have fun in the field of happiness!