Want to extend your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (WHV)? Well doing 3 months fruit picking work is a good way to extend your visa and enable you to stay in the country for a bit longer. Fruit picking jobs are also a fantastic way to see parts of the countryside you may otherwise never see (and because the creepy crawlies aren’t as scary as the ones in Australia, some might say it’s a bit nicer to do fruit picking jobs in New Zealand rather than fruit picking in Australia).Even if you’re not intending to extend your WHV but are looking for work to help fund your travels, fruit picking is a good option for you. But where in the country is the work available? And what is the fruit picking season in New Zealand?Using the information below you could plan your travels around the country around the various fruit picking seasons in New Zealand. Some months and regions require more workers than others so read on to find out the best places to be at certain times of the year for the best chances of finding work.
Spring, September – November
Summer, December – February
Autumn, March – May
Winter, June – August
Fruit Picking Jobs New Zealand – North Island
Main Produce: Avocados, tamarillos, oranges, mandarins, olives, macadamia, kumaraBest months to find work: April, May, June, JulyNorthland might not be the best location to find work but there is some demand for workers all year round. The best months to try and find work in Northland are during late Autumn and early Winter.
Main Produce: Blueberries, onions, potatoes, asparagusBest months to find work: January, February. Other months to find work: October, November, DecemberThe Waikato region also requires workers all year round, however there is a higher demand for seasonal workers during the summer months of January and February and, with slightly lower demand, during late Spring to early Summer.
Bay of Plenty
Main Produce: Kiwifruit, avocados, feijoasBest months to find work: April, May, June, July, August. Other months to find work: November, December, JanuaryThe Bay of Plenty area is one of the better regions to look for seasonal work in New Zealand. The fruit picking seasons cover a lot of the year and many months require lots of people to help out.
Main Produce: Wine grapes, pears, apricots, plums, squash, asparagus, pumpkin, apples, peaches, nectarines, olives, sweet corn, peas, tomatoesBest months to find work: February, March, April, May, June and November and DecemberAlso a region with lots of fruit picking work available throughout the year. Not quite as much work as the Bay of Plenty but Autumn in particular is a good season to be in Hawke’s Bay.
Main Produce: Olives, wine grapesBest months to find work: June, July, AugustNot one of the areas with high demand for seasonal workers but again there is the possibility of work throughout the year. You might just have to get in quick though and before other people apply for fruit picking jobs.
Fruit Picking Jobs New Zealand – South Island
Main Produce: Wine grapes, sweet corn, olivesBest months to find work: June, July, August. Other months to find work: November, December, JanuaryMarlborough is probably best known as a wine producing region. What a great excuse to stay in the area for a few months, help to pick the grapes and sample the wines the region is famous for!
Main Produce: Apples, blackcurrants, raspberries, pears, boysenberriesBest months to find work: February, March, April. Other months to fnd work: November, DecemberNot only is the Nelson region stunningly beautiful and with more hours of sunshine than most other regions in New Zealand, it also has a fair amount of fruit picking work available throughout the year.
Main Produce: Apples, apricots, cherries, grapes, nectarines, plumsBest months to find work: November, December, January. Other months to find work: April, MayThe Otago region, known mainly for it’s popular backpacker mecca of Queenstown, is also a good place to find fruit picking jobs (mainly in the warmer months which is good for those who aren’t fans of the cold)Good luck on your job hunt and if you’re heading to Australia after your adventures in New Zealand make sure you check out the fruit picking season in Australia so you can extend your WHV there too!