Fruit Picking Jobs Australia

fruit picking seasons fruit picking jobs nz visa

Fruit picking is an awesome way for backpackers to earn extra cash during their trip when travelling in the countryside of Australia. There are many backpackers using fruit picking jobs as a way of funding their trip, meanwhile they enjoy the stunning nature of Australia!

Seasonal work in regional Australia is a way to extend your Australian Working Holiday Visa for a second year, which is an amazing opportunity to expand your visit for a little longer!

The Seasonal work has to be for a minimum of three months. The Australian government is quite strict about the definitions of both seasonal work and regional Australia. So make sure you check everything here before you start your job as fruit picker.

The fruit picking season in Australia can often differ due to changes in weather patterns and temperatures. However, the picking season usually starts in December and finishes in May. Fruit picking requires physically hard labour, it is therefore important that you are pretty fit and healthy! Make sure you’re prepared for spending all day outside, most of the time in the burning sun – sunscreen and a hat for protection against the sun are essentials. Drinking enough water is very important as well.

Wages

Obviously, you want to do fruit picking in order to stay longer in Australia, or to earn some money and enjoy the Australian countryside. What you get paid, is also important to know… As a fruit picker, you can be paid in two different ways; either per hour or for the amount of fruit you pick. The wages are based on the Australia Standard wage rate for casual farm work. Minimum wage for harvest work in Australia is AUD$21.6 per hour. So if you are a good and enthusiastic fruit picker, and get paid for the amount of fruit you pick – you will probably earn a little better than average!

Doing Fruit Picking work in New Zealand is also a way to extend the NZ working holiday Visa.

Locations and times

When & where to go for fruit picking jobs Australia

Before you are going to look for a fruit picking job, it would be useful to determine where you would like to go to. There are many possibilities of different fruit picking jobs as Australia is a huge country with numerous different landscapes and weather conditions.

Queensland

fruit picking jobs australia - bananasQueensland grows 1/3 of the nation’s fruit and vegetables. Farmers hire migrant workers, fruit & vegetables pickers and other (experienced) farmhands. Farm work varies across the Queensland region – the farmers grow sugar cane, beans, seasonal fruits and vegetables, also cattle, cotton and wool.

In Tully they grow many bananas. Tully is located 180 kilometres south of Cairns and is known for being the wettest place in Australia, receiving an average of 4134 mm of rain per year. In the Tully area there are lots of beautiful beach towns such as Mission Beach and Bingal Bay. The Tully River is also famous among people who are crazy about rafting!

From Stanthorpe in the south to the Atherton Tablelands in the far North; more than 120 types of fruit and vegetable are picked and packed in the state every year all year round so new and motivated workers are needed to fill a variety of fruit picking and harvest jobs.

Harvest Crop Location
Feb – Mar Pears / Apples Stanthorpe
Feb – Apr Rock Melon St George
Feb – Apr Ginger Sunshine Coast
Mar – Dec Vegetables Bundaberg
Apr – Jun Citrus Mundubbera
Apr – Oct Various Lockyer Valley
Apr – Nov Beans Mary Valley
Apr – Dec Vegetables / Tomatoes Bowen / Ayr
May – Oct Broccoli Toowoomba
May – Dec Sugar Cane Ayr / Ingham / Innisfail
Jul – Sep Ginger Sunshine Coast
Jul – Dec Onions Lockyer Valley
Nov – Feb Mangoes / Lychees / Avocados / Bananas Mareeba
Nov – Jan Plums Stanthorpe
Nov – Jan Cotton Goodiwindi / St George
Oct – Jan Peaches Stanthorpe
Nov – Mar Cotton Toowoomba / Milleran
Dec – Jan Bananas / Sugar Innisfail / Tully
Dec – Mar Various Stanthorpe

New South Wales

fruit picking australiaNew South Wales is one of best places to find seasonal farm jobs in Australia. The main produce in New South Wales include sheep, cattle, pigs, hay, apples, cherries, pears, legumes, maize, nuts, wool, wheat, and rice. Farmhands, migrant workers, fruit pickers, and vegetable pickers may all find work across New South Wales in fields and on ranches. November to April is the busiest harvest period which peaks in February. However, the harvest differs per crop.

For example – Griffith is a thriving agricultural and industrial city boasting the third largest population in the Riverina region and many well regarded wineries. Next to grape picking it’s also possible to do orange picking or onion picking at different times of the year. Griffith is located approximately 600 kilometres west of Sydney. This country town is well known for its food, wine and festivals.

Harvest Crop Location
Jan – Mar Stonefruit Young
Feb – Mar Prunes Young
Feb – Mar Pears Orange
Feb – Mar Grapes Leeton / Hunter Valley
Feb – Apr Apples Orange
Mar – Apr Grapes Tumbarumba
Mar – May Apples Batlow
Mar – Jun Cotton Picking Narrabri / Mooree
Sep – Oct Asparagus Gundagai
Sep – Dec Asparagus Cowra
Sep – Apr Oranges Griffith
Nov – Dec Cherries Young / Orange
Nov – Apr Oranges Lecton
Dec – Jan Onions Griffith
Dec – Mar Stone Fruit Tumut / Batlow
Dec – Apr Blueberries Tumbarumba

Victoria

fruit picking seasons australia - tomatoesNovember to April (peaking in February) is the main season for fruit and vegetable picking jobs in Victoria. There is plenty of work in the central northern areas around Shepparton. The Murray River area is also a great area to look for work; places such as Mildura and Swan Hill often require fruit picking / harvest workers. Main harvests in these areas include orchard fruits, tomatoes, tobacco, grapes and soft fruits.

Fruit picking in Cobram – “Cobram is a large fruit growing area situated on the Murray River just 250 kilometres north of Melbourne. This region is well known for its irrigated fruit and dairy with large areas of stone fruit varieties. The small farm area expanded after WWII , when a significant number of Italian immigrants arrived and established themselves in the farming community.” – http://workstay.com.au/fruit-picking-cobram-victoria

Fruit picking Yarra Valley in Victoria – “This valley is about 40 kilometres north east of Melbourne. A large variety of cool climate crops have traditionally been grown in the Valley and there are more than 80 vineyards and wineries in the Valley with many different selections of wines.” https://jobsearch.gov.au/

Harvest Crop Location
Jan – Apr Tomatoes Ardmona / Shepparton / Rochester
Jan – Apr Pears / Peaches / Apples Ardmona / Shepparton / Cobram
Jan – Apr Tobacco Ovens / King & Kiewa Valleys
Feb – Mar Grapes Lake Boga / Swan Hill / Nyah West
Feb – Apr Grapes Ovens / King & Kiewa Valleys
Mar – Apr Apples Buckland Valley / Stanley / Wandilong / Red Hill / Main Range
Sep – Nov Asparagus Dalmore
Oct – Dec Strawberries Silvan
Nov – Feb Cherries Boweya / Glenrowan / Wagandary
Nov – Feb Cherries / Berries Wandin / Silvan
Nov – Dec Tomato Weeding Echuca / Rochester

Tasmania

fruit picking season australiaTasmania is all about apples. It grows almost a fifth of the apples in Australia, approximately 55,000 tonnes every year. The main areas are in the Huon district South of Hobart. Tasmania has a relatively short fruit picking season, generally from December to the end of May, fruit picking and harvest jobs are available all around Tasmania. As well as picking apples there are also pears, stone fruits, hops, grapes, berries and much more.

Harvest Crop Location
Jan – Feb Scallop Splitting Bicheno
Feb – Apr Grapes Huon / Tamar Valley
Mar – Apr Hops Scottsdale / New Norfolk / Devenport
Mar – May Apples Hunter Valley / Tasman Peninsula / West Tamar
Dec – Jan Soft Fruit Channel District / Huon / Kingborough / Derwent Valley

South Australia

fruit picking australia strawberriesSouth Australia offers fruit and vegetable picking jobs all year around e.g. picking citrus and soft fruits such as raspberries and strawberries around the Riverland area. February to April work is available around The Barossa Valley picking and packing the grapes.

Harvest Crop Location
Jan – Mar Dried Fruits Riverland
Feb – Apr Grapes & Peaches Riverland
Feb – Apr Grapes Southern Vales / Barossa Valley
Feb – Apr Apples & Pears Adelaide Hills
Feb – Aug Brussel Sprouts Adelaide Hills
Jun – Aug Oranges Riverland
Jun – Sep Pruning Riverland
Sep – Jan Oranges Riverland
Oct – Feb Strawberries Adelaide Hills
Dec – Feb Apricots Riverland

Western Australia

fruit picking australia - zucchiniFruit picking and harvest jobs are available in the Southwest of the state. From October to June you can harvest grapes and orchard fruits. March to November there is also fishing and processing work available for crayfish, prawns and scallops between Fremantle and Carnarvon. From May to October head northeast, around Kununurra for harvest jobs and fruit picking.

Harvest Crop Location
Jan – Mar Grapes Margaret River / Swan Valley / Mt Barker
Mar – May Apples & Pears Pemberton / Donnybrook / Manjimup
Mar – Oct Prawning & Scalloping Carnavon
May – Sep Zucchini & Rock Melons Kununurra
Apr – Nov Melons Coorow
Jun – Dec Melons & Tomatoes Carnavon
Jul – Aug Bananas Kununurra
Jul – Dec Wildflowers Coorow / Muchea
Oct – Jan Mangoes Kununurra
Nov – Jun Rock Lobster Fremantle / Kalbarri / Dongara / Geraldton / Broome
All Year Fishing Broome

Northern Territory

fruit picking seasons australia - mangoesMay to October picking melons around Katherine and Darwin is popular. From October to November head to Katherine and Darwin for mango picking and packing jobs as well as citrus and bananas which are grown all year around there.

Harvest Crop Location
Mar – Oct Melons Katharine / Darwin
Oct – Nov Mangoes Katharine / Darwin
All Year Citrus / Bananas Katharine / Darwin
All Year Asian Vegetables & Cutting Flowers Darwin

Information from: http://www.fruitpicking.org/fruit-picking-essentials/crops-calendar