HomeFruit Picking seasons Australia – Calendar 2024
Fruit Picking seasons Australia – Calendar 2024
If you want to find a fruit picking job in Australia, it’s important to check the Australian fruit picking calendar and know the times of the year for different harvests. Australia is a huge country with very distinct climates and seasons. If you arrive in the South in the middle of winter, for example, you will find very few opportunities for harvesting. To give you a good overview of the fruit picking seasons in Australia, we have put together a harvest calendar, compiled state by state. The boxes in light pink indicate the months of the year when the demand for labour is “average”. The boxes in dark pink indicate the months when demand for labour is “high”. This makes it really convenient to plan your fruit picking adventure, whether you’re looking to complete your regional work for your Working Holiday Visa, hoping to fund a road trip, or just in need of a new job.
DEMAND FOR WORKERS: HIGH
DEMAND FOR WORKERS: AVERAGE
Table of Contents
New South Wales
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In New South Wales (NSW), the best time to find farm work is from November to April. The peak of the season is in February. NSW is a major fruit and vegetable producing region, and one of the best places in the country to find seasonal farm work!
The main products of New South Wales are orchard fruits, cherries, grapes, oranges and bananas (Coffs Harbour) but also asparagus, onions, corn, pulses, wheat and rice.
You will also find nut harvesting work as well as the cultivation of hay, wool and cotton. In addition, NSW has a large cattle industry and you can find work here on cattle and sheep ranches. The season starts from April.
There are well-defined areas where you will find many farms and therefore more farm job opportunities. These include the east-central area, around Bathurst, as well as Griffith, which has the third largest population in the famous Riverina agricultural region.
The Northern Territory is very large, but there is a well-defined farming region in the state. There are two distinct seasons during the year.
May to October is melon growing and picking season, and October to November is the best time to pick mangoes, bananas and citrus fruits.
In Queensland, the harvest period is mostly from December to March, but you can also find farm work outside of these months in some areas. From May to December, many fruits and vegetables are grown in Bowen (south of Cairns), especially mangoes at the end of the year.
Head to Bowen for mango harvesting. A few hundred kilometres to the north are Ayr and Ingham. There, you can find a job picking sugar cane, tobacco or bananas. If you go even further north, to Tully, many bananas are harvested there. Near Warwick, in the far south-east of Queensland, you will find orchard and stone fruits as well as grapes. On the south central coast (Bundaberg and Childers), many varieties of fruits and vegetables are also harvested. That being said, watch out for scams on this side of the state!
As you can see, a multitude of farmhouses dot the entire Queensland coast, from Stanthorpe in the south to the Atherton Tablelands in the north. More than 120 varieties of fruits and vegetables are picked and packaged each year. Beans, tomatoes, citrus fruits, bananas, mangoes, orchard fruits, cotton and wool share the stage.
Go to Barossa Valley (75km north of Adelaide), the oldest wine region in the country, for grape picking. Otherwise, it is easy to find farms in the Riverland area, on the banks of the Murray River. Citrus fruits (in winter) and red fruits (in summer) such as strawberries or raspberries are the flagship fruits of the region.
Tasmania is all about apples. The island is full of orchards, which make it the main crop of this state. You will be surprised to learn that this small island produces nearly 1/5 of Australia’s apples, i.e. 55,000 tonnes/year. Amazing! These apples are used to make juice and cider. Many producers share the market. The main fruits for which labour is needed in Tasmania are: orchard fruits, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries), grapes and also hops.
The main agricultural region in Tasmania is the Huon region (Huon Valley, Huonville) located south of Hobart. Besides that, there is no real agricultural centre here – it is possible to find work all over Tasmania.
Although Victoria is smaller than some other states in Australia, that doesn’t mean that jobs are harder to find! On the contrary, several areas in Victoria bring together farms and fields each year in search of many workers. The Murray River region and the city of Shepparton, located in the north central part of the state, have farms as far as the eye can see. You will also find plenty of jobs in places like Mildura and Swan Hill.
Cobram is renowned for its stone fruit varieties. Finally, in the heart of the Yarra Valley (40km northeast of Melbourne), you will find more than 80 vineyards and wineries. Grape picking is king here! This is also the case in the Highlands, which are home to many vineyards.
In Western Australia, there are two very distinct harvesting seasons, spread out across two different areas. October to June is harvest time in the southwestern part of Western Australia, for picking apples, pears and grapes. From March to November, it is on the west coast or in the northeast (around Kununurra) that the majority of the harvest takes place.
Depending on the time of year, head to the South West of Western Australia, to the West Coast or the North East. On the coast, jobs in picking are becoming rarer than inland and are giving way to the fishing sector. Raising shrimps, crayfish, collecting scallops…These are other activities in which you may be interested. These breeding farms are located between Fremantle and Carnarvon.
Map of the best harvesting areas in Australia
Here is a map of Australia showing the best seasons for fruit picking. You can use it as a guide for your next road trip if you want to do some farm work.
Hat and sunglasses
Long sleeved top and long pants
Closed, solid shoes
Waterproof clothing in case of rain
Bottles of water
Clothes and shoes: Do not take belongings that are important to you to the farms, because they will most likely end up dirty, torn or covered in mud! Sunglasses: Ideally an old, inexpensive pair that you don’t really care about – they risk getting scratched. Gloves: To avoid injury and protect you from various insects, animals (snakes, spiders, etc.) and thorns. Bottles of water: Bring enough water to last you all day – it’s really important to stay hydrated! Small snack: In addition to your lunch, it’s good to have a snack on hand in case you start to feel faint or hungry during the day.
Finding a job in fruit picking – our tips
Here are some practical tips to help you get started:
To find potential employers, you can use job websites, social media groups, or visit farms directly. You can also use the farm contacts provided in our free PDF guide. Many farms prefer to hire workers in person. Visit local farms and inquire about available positions. Also, don’t hesitate to talk to other travelers or seasonal workers to get recommendations on where to find work and share useful information.
Be prepared to travel; if you land a job, you may need to travel a bit 🙂 Having a vehicle will make your job search easier.
Be prepared for physical work. Fruit picking can be physically demanding, so be ready for long workdays and physical tasks.
Make sure you have the necessary equipment (mentioned above) to start any new job.
Finally, job hunting in the fruit picking sector can take time. Be patient and persevere.
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