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Cherry Picking in Adelaide Hills

Cherry Picking in Adelaide Hills

Are you looking for work and are in the Adelaide (SA) area? Then why not try your hand at fruit picking? Working in the fields, early in the morning, to the sounds of nature… sounds good? Here is our article about cherry picking in the Adelaide Hills, 30 kilometres from Adelaide. Find out the best ways to find a job, the jobs available in this area and we also share with you a feedback on cherry picking in Adelaide Hills.

Fruit Picking in Australia

Fruit Picking is an all-encompassing term for all manual work in the agricultural field. This includes picking fruit, packing fruit, pruning trees and planting seeds. These types of jobs are seasonal and are therefore perfect for those who wish to travel while working in Australia for short or medium periods of time. Very popular with Working Holiday Visa makers, picking jobs do not require any particular skills or a very good level of English. Agricultural jobs are physical, however, so you’ll need to be in good physical condition if you want to try.

Fruit picking work days usually start early. This is because the days are hot in Australia, so workers start as early as possible to keep cool. You’ll usually meet at the farm shed to get kitted up and head out to your picking trees… You’ll usually be out in the fields by 7am.

How to find a job in picking?

In your job search, you will have several methods to get a job. It is always best to use all of them to make sure you get a job. Here are some of these methods:

Government Website

The Australian government has set up a map dedicated to fruit picking. You can see some positions available in farms all over the country and get more details on the jobs. Once you click on the offer, you will get the contact details of the agency you need to go through or will need to call the Harvest Trail on 1800062332 to register.

The Backpackers Guide – farm contacts

The Backpackers Guide is a free guide that gives you access to many farm contacts (over 500 throughout the country). This is a great time saver as you will have a lot less work to do researching, and that is not negligible.

Download the Backpackers Guide


Our FREE 400-page eBook contains all the information you need for your WHV in Australia :

  • administrative procedures
  • transport and ways of travelling
  • jobs & +500 fruit picking contacts
  • regions and practical life
  • numerous discounts

Door to door

Door-to-door canvassing is one of the most effective ways to find a job. It is obvious that farmers will appreciate meeting you before giving you a job. For those who do not speak English well, contact will be easier than over telephone. Visit the farms during working hours to make sure you find someone on the property.

Word of mouth

Talk about your search to people around you. Don’t hesitate to talk to people you meet. At the pub, at the beach, in a park, talk to the locals. Australians are altruistic, and will not hesitate to lend you a hand if they have the opportunity. Talk to other backpackers you meet in hostels.

What fruit and vegetables to pick in Adelaide?

Adelaide Hills is located 30 kilometres east of Adelaide. It’s an important wine growing area, but you can also pick other fruits such as apples, pears and cherries. Here are the best times to pick fruit in the Adelaide area.

Apple and pear picking: February to May
Grape picking: February to April
Grape pruning: June to December (pruning of vines)
Cherry picking: November to January

Cherry Picking in Adelaide Hills – Feedback

A typical Day

When you arrive at your tree rows, the boss will come by to give you instructions. Then it’s off for several hours of picking… For cherry picking, you generally fill buckets before emptying them into a crate.

Mid the morning, you will have a 10 minutes break… it’s the smoko. You drink water, have a snack to get your strength back before going back into the trees.

After 4 hours of picking, it’s time for lunch. Back to the shed, you will have a break in the sun for lunch…

Then change of spot for another variety of cherries (this usually implies a slightly different picking). You will sometimes make surprising discoveries in the trees, birds’ nests or even things that are a bit less nice (we let you guess). After a few hours and to take a break from the heat, you stop picking.

Then comes the cherry packing part! Very repetitive task, it’s not the most fun part, except maybe when it’s 40°C outside!

The packing consists of sorting the cherries. The principle is simple: eyes riveted on the treadmill watching the cherries go by, you take the damaged ones, to put them in the bin.

The day usually ends around 5pm. You will have a break in the afternoon for a snack and especially to take a break from the packing.

Summary of our cherry picking experience

Cherries are not the most difficult fruit to pick, quite the contrary! Indeed, even if you have to be careful when picking them (to avoid damaging them and keeping the tail), they are light fruits so they are less painful for your back. The disadvantage is that it takes longer to fill our crates. The main thing is to be paid by the hour and not by the output! It should be noted that the Fair Work has passed legislation imposing a pay of 25$ per hour for pieceworkers.

Summary of the day : Intense and tiring, but cherry picking is still great !
Earnings : 130$net/person

You’re also up for some Fruit Picking in Adelaide or somewhere else in Australia. Then check out our article about Fruit Picking in Australia.

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Australia Backpackers Guide
The ultimate guide to work and travel around Australia with a Working Holiday Visa! Get all the tips and advice from other backpackers. The first travel guide written by Backpackers for Backpackers in Australia!!!