Thursday, 21 April 2022

A Sea of Sunflowers

Friday 8 April 

It was time to return to the beautiful Scenic Rim for the Kalbar Sunflower Festival, organised on a flower and lucerne farm, on the ourskirts of the historic township of Kalbar. This is a celebration born out of hardship.

"In 2021, lucerne farmers Jenny and Russel Jenner were struggling to keep their crops alive, during one of the longest droughts in living memory. Water had gotten so bad that they couldn't grow the main crop, but after Russell bought a bunch of sunflowers home from the grocery store, the two had a light bulb moment. 

1 - Sunflowers need very little water. 

2 - Darling Downs Farmers were 'getting cranky' about selfie-crazed tourists traipsing uninvited through their sunflower crops.

From there the festival grew."            [extract from their website.]

The March 2021 Festival was a success and this year the festival was made even bigger. It was planned for the end of March, but the weather caused it to be postponed until April. We drove out in drizzle and were relieved to find the sky clearing on our arrival. It didn't take long however, for our shoes to be caked with mud. Got to expect that with black soil.

The festival was incredibly well organised. The cost was $35 for a 3 hour visit and tickets had to be pre purchased. When we booked, the only time slot over the 3 day event, was Friday 8am. It meant an early start, but the morning light was perfect for photography. When we arrived about a half an hour early, there were only about 10 cars in the carpark. When we departed at 11.30, we estimated there were nearly 1000. There was however, no sense of overcrowding. Many people were still to leave from the morning time-slot.

The farm buildings were nestled on top of a knoll, with 360 degree views to the Great Dividing Range in the west and Kalbar in the east. The sunflower fields unfurled below the buildings. A large quadrangle of food and craft stalls were set up beside the farm buildings. A huge marque had been erected in the centre for shade, and hay bales for seating.

Our ticket allowed us to wander the perimeter and experience the maze which had been constucted through 6 acres of the flowers. We didn't have time to enter.

We could have paid extra to participate in activities such as:- sunrise yoga in the sunflowers, sip and paint, watercolour classes, proposal packages, cut and buy your own sunflowers, sunset dinners, helicopter rides, family photographic sessions, and accommodation in glamping tents.

We were just thrilled to be able to wander and enjoy the stately, golden giants reaching for the sunshine and radiating warmth and happiness. 

The position of the farm and mountain backdrop, from a photo taken on a previous visit.

Our welcoming hostess!

The empty car park, with Mt Edwards that I have climbed on several occasions, in the background.

Views walking up to the quadrangle. 
Sunflower heads were still bowed as we began the walk, but rose skywards as we slowly made our way up. 

View east to Kalbar.


Damp skies in the background.

Such a pretty sign.

The golden views of happiness.

Parading in rows.

Less regimented, joyous abandon.

Massed sunny faces.

The sublime unfurling of the sunflower.

Loved by bees and caterpillars.

Soaring high.

Muddy shoes

Painting class

Preparations for the sunset dinner.

Glamping tents

Covered seating area.

A wonderful variety of stalls.

Entertainment for children, big and small.

For $2 a stem you were able to select and cut your own sunflowers. $1 per stem was donated to  Queensland Cancer. So lovely to see young families in the field together. 

An unexpected meeting with my neighbour and daughter, as they cut their blossoms.

Our selection made by Jocelyn.

Sunflowers and beautifully decorated cup cakes.

Yes, we will return next year!

My favourite image taken.

A most wonderful morning passed all too quickly! 
Is there anything more majestic than sunflowers in full bloom?

I would love to read your comment.


  1. I love the "don't panic" sign. I love the straight rows of amazing sunflowers. You folks really do know how to have fun! Thanks for this wonderful post.

    1. There was so much to love, Bill. The "don't panic" sign brought a laugh!

  2. What fun! I just love sunflowers and this looks like a great festival.

    1. The brightness of the sunflowers was so welcome after all our cloudy, rainy days!

  3. Wonderful shots of the blooms. A feast for the eyes, Helen!

    1. It most certainly was, Marie! Now I look forward to the beauty of your lupins.

  4. A wonderful outing. I think I will be posting at my blog instead of instagram. Just figuring out which will be best for me.

    1. We've gone sunflower hunting before but to be able to walk through and around was just so wonderful!

  5. What an incredible experience, love all the photos!

  6. I LOVE this! We have sunflower festivals in Kansas, too. What a beautiful day you had to explore!

  7. A little splash of colour to brighten my Friday monring

  8. According to my app, you have been blessed with more sunshine than here. A week of heavy rain, lies ahead.