Country towns have been bombarded by tourists hoping to snap a picture on social media basking in golden canola fields full of flowers.
In the spring, people flock to Cowra, Temora and Coolamon in New South Wales and similar fields in Victoria in search of the perfect Instagram photo.
It has become so popular that even the NSW government is encouraging the trend through a targeted advertising campaign which encourages people to “take a snapshot of a canola field.”
But some farmers are frustrated by the blatant way in which tourists are invading their land, and say it could pose a risk of livestock diseases spreading in the future.
“There’s a real fear about foot-and-mouth disease and what kind of quarantine people have been through and where they’ve come from,” said Tony Flannery, a Halong wheat and canola farmer.
“That’s something that poses a very real danger to us in particular,” Flannery said.
He reportedly once found a pair “literally two kilometers” from the road in his paddock.
“They basically refused to leave. As if they put the camera on a tripod and were going to get a job for half a day.”
Another farmer said: “It’s the equivalent of someone popping into your yard in Sydney to take a picture with your flowers. This is my yard – leave.”
Encouraging people to use the hashtags #lovensw and #newssouthwales, the NSW Government said the Riverina region makes for “perfect Instagram photos”.
“The state’s main canola production centers are approximately 4.5 hours’ drive west of Sydney, with hectare upon hectare of glistening golden fields,” the website says.
However, in Western Australia, the trend has prompted a warning from state authorities.
Geoff Russell, from WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, said there were cases of cars ending up in swamps and damaging crops in the state’s greater southern region.
“If you were in a small town or city, you wouldn’t want people driving through your yard. It’s farmland, you’re driving through a farmer’s yard,” Mr Russell told the media.