Fruit picking jobs in New Zealand

Want to extend your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (WHV)? Well, doing 3 months of 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, kumara. The best months to find work: are April, May, June, and July. Northland 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.
fruit picking new zealandMain Produce: Blueberries, onions, potatoes, asparagusBest months to find work: January, February. Other months to find work: October, November, and December. The 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, and 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.

Hawke’s Bay
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 December also 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 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, and April. Other months to find work: November, and December not only is the Nelson region stunningly beautiful and with more hours of sunshine than most other regions in New Zealand, but 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, and January. Other months to find work: April, MayThe Otago region, known mainly for its 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!

FAQ about working in New Zealand

Yes, you do. You need a working holiday visa (WHV). Bur bear in mind the main objective of your extended stay in the country must be tourism and pleasure, with work as a secondary motive. And you can’t accept a permanent job.

You can stay in New Zealand as a tourist for up to six months without any type of visa, but a working holiday visa allows you to live and work and/or study in the country for 12 months or 23 months. If you apply for a 23-month visa, you must provide a General Medical Certificate.

You need to apply online for a working holiday visa from Immigration New Zealand. It will cost you NZ$455 (around £236).

Working holiday visas for New Zealand are available to UK citizens aged 18 to 30 in good health and with no criminal record. You can’t take children with you to New Zealand.

You’ll have to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in New Zealand – typically around NZ$350 (about £180) for each month of your stay.

Most hostels in New Zealand accept long-stay travellers, and backpackers can often negotiate discounted rates.

Finding short-term work is relatively easy in New Zealand, and Kiwis are some of the friendliest people around. They not only welcome backpackers but go out of their way to learn about your culture and teach you about theirs. And New Zealand has some of the most beautiful, diverse scenery in the world.

A working holiday in New Zealand means you temporarily become part of a culture that prides itself on a good work-lifestyle balance – Kiwis work hard and enjoy their leisure time to the full.

The minimum wage in New Zealand is reviewed every year. As of 2022, it was NZ$21.20 an hour.

Many types of jobs are available to travellers in New Zealand, especially in the hospitality and agricultural sectors. Others work at ski resorts during winter.

If you’ve worked in New Zealand for more than two years with a long-term skill shortage visa, you may be eligible for a permanent resident visa allowing you to remain the country indefinitely.