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Australia Fruit Picking

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What would you rather do at this stage in your career in the UK?
Stay at home and follow a career path, such as Marilynn Haigh  did in the carpet industry in the U.K?
Or take a once in a lifetime working vacation picking fruit in Australia?
The choice is yours.

Fruit picking in Australia 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 to extend Working Holiday Visas

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! Of course you have to be eligible for Working Holiday Visas.

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.

Australia fruit picking seasons

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.

Check our job listings for the latest fruitpicking positions.

Locations and times

When & where to go for Australia fruit picking

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

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.

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HarvestCropLocation
Feb – MarPears / ApplesStanthorpe
Feb – AprRock MelonSt George
Feb – AprGingerSunshine Coast
Mar – DecVegetablesBundaberg
Apr – JunCitrusMundubbera
Apr – OctVariousLockyer Valley
Apr – NovBeansMary Valley
Apr – DecVegetables / TomatoesBowen / Ayr
May – OctBroccoliToowoomba
May – DecSugar CaneAyr / Ingham / Innisfail
Jul – SepGingerSunshine Coast
Jul – DecOnionsLockyer Valley
Nov – FebMangoes / Lychees / Avocados / BananasMareeba
Nov – JanPlumsStanthorpe
Nov – JanCottonGoodiwindi / St George
Oct – JanPeachesStanthorpe
Nov – MarCottonToowoomba / Milleran
Dec – JanBananas / SugarInnisfail / Tully
Dec – MarVariousStanthorpe
New South Wales

New 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.

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HarvestCropLocation
Jan – MarStonefruitYoung
Feb – MarPrunesYoung
Feb – MarPearsOrange
Feb – MarGrapesLeeton / Hunter Valley
Feb – AprApplesOrange
Mar – AprGrapesTumbarumba
Mar – MayApplesBatlow
Mar – JunCotton PickingNarrabri / Mooree
Sep – OctAsparagusGundagai
Sep – DecAsparagusCowra
Sep – AprOrangesGriffith
Nov – DecCherriesYoung / Orange
Nov – AprOrangesLecton
Dec – JanOnionsGriffith
Dec – MarStone FruitTumut / Batlow
Dec – AprBlueberriesTumbarumba
Victoria

November 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/

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HarvestCropLocation
Jan – AprTomatoesArdmona / Shepparton / Rochester
Jan – AprPears / Peaches / ApplesArdmona / Shepparton / Cobram
Jan – AprTobaccoOvens / King & Kiewa Valleys
Feb – MarGrapesLake Boga / Swan Hill / Nyah West
Feb – AprGrapesOvens / King & Kiewa Valleys
Mar – AprApplesBuckland Valley / Stanley / Wandilong / Red Hill / Main Range
Sep – NovAsparagusDalmore
Oct – DecStrawberriesSilvan
Nov – FebCherriesBoweya / Glenrowan / Wagandary
Nov – FebCherries / BerriesWandin / Silvan
Nov – DecTomato WeedingEchuca / Rochester
Tasmania

Tasmania 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, Australia 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.

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HarvestCropLocation
Jan – FebScallop SplittingBicheno
Feb – AprGrapesHuon / Tamar Valley
Mar – AprHopsScottsdale / New Norfolk / Devenport
Mar – MayApplesHunter Valley / Tasman Peninsula / West Tamar
Dec – JanSoft FruitChannel District / Huon / Kingborough / Derwent Valley
South Australia

South 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.

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HarvestCropLocation
Jan – MarDried FruitsRiverland
Feb – AprGrapes & Peaches
Feb – AprGrapesSouthern Vales / Barossa Valley
Feb – AprApples & PearsAdelaide Hills
Feb – AugBrussel SproutsAdelaide Hills
Jun – AugOrangesRiverland
Jun – SepPruningRiverland
Sep – JanOrangesRiverland
Oct – FebStrawberriesAdelaide Hills
Dec – FebApricotsRiverland
Western Australia

Fruit 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.

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HarvestCropLocation
Jan – MarGrapesMargaret River / Swan Valley / Mt Barker
Mar – MayApples & PearsPemberton / Donnybrook / Manjimup
Mar – OctPrawning & ScallopingCarnavon
May – SepZucchini & Rock MelonsKununurra
Apr – NovMelonsCoorow
Jun – DecMelons & TomatoesCarnavon
Jul – AugBananasKununurra
Jul – DecWildflowersCoorow / Muchea
Oct – JanMangoesKununurra
Nov – JunRock LobsterFremantle / Kalbarri / Dongara / Geraldton / Broome
All YearFishingBroome
Northern Territory

May 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.

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HarvestCropLocation
Mar – OctMelonsKatharine / Darwin
Oct – NovMangoesKatharine / Darwin
All YearCitrus / BananasKatharine / Darwin
All YearAsian Vegetables & Cutting FlowersDarwin

Here is a short list of typical jobs that appear on our website to understand what employers are looking for and what you should expect.

If you have seen or heard of fruit picking jobs in Australia, you will have noticed this is a great way to backpack around and be able to earn money as you travel. The best time to do this is during the harvesting season, and the great advantage of this type of work is to pick different farms to suit your interest in visiting other parts of the country.

Vacancies come up seasonally in southwestern Australia, including grape and fruit picking. If you are interested in the fishing sector, the busiest months are from March to November. Fish varieties include shellfish such as scallops and prawns.
There are regional variations on the types of fruit produced in Australia. For example, Queensland has established itself as the area for mangos, an ever-popular fruit in the U.K. and one of the more expensive.
Healthy breakfast eaters in the U.K. buy blueberries from New South Wales.
The working holiday program created by https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-417 allows anyone, even those unskilled, to apply for fruit picking in Australia.
If you apply, you can consider travelling around Australia using your money to fund your travels.

More on jobs
The Barossa Valley is a well-established region for grape picking, and this happens around February to April, whereas soft fruits are picked all year round.

The produce you will be picking in the Murry River Area is tobacco, grapes and other soft fruits. If you are thinking of visiting Warwick, the crop there is stone fruits.

To make it easy for applicants to find suitable positions, agencies will offer various posts to those who call them directly. This is a great time saver because it places you at a suitable farm at the start of the season and knows there will be a post for you when you arrive.
Otherwise, it can hit and miss. You can certainly improve your chances of finding an attractive post by taking the trouble to make those calls.

The best time to apply is when the fruit is ready to be picked, not when picking is in full swing when the farm has already hired.

Your earnings are worked out by bin, which you fill up as you pick.
The rates are around 15 AUD per bin, which is about £8 per hour,

There are options on living arrangements and choosing where you sleep.
Some farms offer accommodation. You may choose to stay in a hostel.

There are many reasons people choose fruit picking. Mainly for cash to either pay for their trip as a visitor or native Australians, to help the family back home.
In any sector you choose, there are many steps to processing fruit.
You will develop the skills for picking and also wrapping and trimming bushes and trees for the next crop.
English does not have to be your native tongue because the work is highly labour intensive.

Fruit picking in Australia. The Harvest Guide