Canola tourism: A photo-friendly boost to drought-hit Australia

By Frances Mao
BBC News, Sydney

Publishedduration5 days agoimage copyrightRidzkhi Andhiniimage captionRidzkhi Andhini visited canola fields in New South Wales last month

The flights were booked. Hotel rooms were sorted. Australian Ridzkhi Andhini had been excited for a trip around Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.

But like so many people, her plans for 2020 were scotched by Covid restrictions. After months of staying put this year, she was itching to get out of Sydney.

That's how she ended up in the New South Wales (NSW) countryside last month, shoulder-deep in a blooming canola field, fluttering a linen shirt.

Posting a dreamy-looking picture on Instagram, she wrote: "The first time I heard my friend say that she just went to a canola field last year, my reaction was like 'canola? the canola oil???'

"But when she posted the photo I was like 'YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME I'M GOING TOO!!!!'"

The daytrip was worth it for a perfect social media shot, Ms Andhini told the BBC.

Canola – also known as rapeseed – fields have been a surprise drawcard for urban residents desperate to travel in Australia's spring.

With very few coronavirus cases, NSW has encouraged local travel while international and some state borders remain closed.