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Farmwork and Agriculture Jobs in Australia

In agriculture, you can pick vegetables, find a job in orchards picking various fruit, but also taking care of the plants during the rest of the year. You can work in vineyards almost all year round. There’s also a lot of farmwork on farms with animals.

To work in agriculture you have to be physically fit and have to be able to deal with extreme weather. If you don’t feel like you can handle these two factors then you should probably steer clear of this area. Since most of the fruit picking takes place in summer and in warm areas, you have to be prepared for 40-degree temperatures and a lot of sunshine.

There’s an option of working in a packhouse, greenhouse, or a factory if you want to avoid working outside. Don’t expect anything better than the minimum wage. It’s possible to make more money working on a contract, but you have to be super quick for it to make a difference

General work information

Types of employment

In Australia, you can be hired as full time, part-time or casual employee. You’ll find out the difference between these types of employment further ahead.

Full time

  • The employee works a guaranteed amount of hours per week (at least 38).
  • The employee has to give notice when they want to quit, and the employer has to give notice when they want to let the employee go.
  • The employee is entitled to sick leave and annual leave.


  • The employee works a guaranteed amount of hours per week (less than 38).
  • The employee has to give notice when they want to quit, and the employer has to give notice when they want to let the employee go.
  • The employee is entitled to sick leave and annual leave.


  • The employee doesn’t work a guaranteed amount of hours per week, the hours of work can be irregular, and it doesn’t have to be ongoing employment.
  • The employee can quit without notice (unless notice is required by a contract or the relevant award).
  • The employee is not entitled to sick leave or annual leave.
  • The employee has a higher pay rate than an equivalent full or part-time employee (so-called casual loading).

Pay rate

There are two options of how to get paid in Australia. Either hourly rate or contract rate (for example paid per a bucket of cherries). Regardless of how you’re paid, always check you’re getting at least the minimum wage. You don’t want to end up as one of those people on Facebook groups asking whether it’s normal to be earning half of the minimum wage. 

The minimum wage in Australia is set to 19,49 AUD (2020) if you’re employed as a full or part-time employee. With casual loading, it’s even higher. All the information can be found on the Fairwork Ombudsman website. You can look up the particular Award your job falls under and check whether you’re being paid properly. With some of the occupations, penalties apply, which means you can get paid more for working on Saturdays and Sundays or for working overtime.

One employer rule

Work and Holiday Visa lets you work for one employer a maximum of 6 months. It is possible, however, to work for one employer for more than 6 months, if you meet one of these conditions :

  • Work in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia.
  • Work in Northern Australia in Aged Care and Disability Services, Fishing and pearling, Tree farming and felling, Construction, Mining, or Tourism and Hospitality.
  • Work in different locations for the same employer and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months. For example two different branches in two different towns. 
  • Be part of bushfire recovery efforts in declared bushfire affected areas only.

If your occupation does not meet the criteria, but you still want to work longer for your employer, you can try and apply for permission.

Where to Look for Jobs in Agriculture

It’s not always the job search engines and websites that help you the most when looking for a job in Australia. This is especially true for some of the backpacker jobs. Here we’re bringing you all the different places where you can find a job.

Job search engines

BackpackerJobBoard – a website made for backpackers. You can choose an area where you want to look for a job or you can choose a job classification. You can also, for example, choose only jobs that qualify for the visa extension. 

Gumtree – A server is well known for buying and selling, however, you’ll find everything there nowadays, including jobs. Sometimes, especially in the agriculture and hospitality industries, you’ll find jobs here, that aren’t on the big job websites. You can filter according to job classification and job areas. 

Indeed – a large search engine. Sometimes a little bit awkward. You can’t choose the job classification. 

Jobsearch – a government website that offers to filter according to the job classification. There’s also a special site focused only on agriculture jobs.

Jora – you can create a profile that matches jobs. A lot of hospitality ads on this website.

Seek – a very intuitive search engine. Can filter various work types, job classifications, and work areas. You can create a profile with your CV.

Seasonal Jobs – A website focusing on agriculture jobs in South Australia created by the South Australian government.


Facebook is a powerful media in all aspects and can be a very useful tool in the search for jobs. When you use the Facebook search box to type in the name of the city where you want to work and the word “jobs” it comes up with various positions in the city. You can also filter according to the job classification and so on.
There are also loads of various job groups that can sometimes have a very specific focus. 

Backpacker groups

There is a huge backpacker oriented group called Australia Backpackers 2019, which is of more general nature. Then there are two big job-oriented groups Backpacker Jobs Australia and Backpacker Jobs in Australia. Your country might have their own Work and Holiday Facebook group where people might post some job offers from time to time, too.

Agriculture jobs groups

There are plenty of groups focused on agriculture jobs. Just to name a few: AUSTRALIA Fruit picking/Packing/Farms Jobs/88 daysFarm Jobs AustraliaFarmwork Australia, or Australia Farm Jobs for Backpackers.

The groups can also deal with only a specific state or city, for example, Queensland Farmwork & 88 days – Backpacker, Work and Travel, Australia, or CAIRNS Backpackers – Mareeba / Atherton Farm work and fruit picking job.

Groups with jobs in a specific city

For example, Sydney JobsPerth Jobs or Melbourne Jobs.

Groups for the specified work for the second year visa

Those of you who want to apply for their second year visa have to get a job that counts toward the second year. There are Facebook groups with ads with this kind of specified work, however, don’t forget to check with the employer that it is actually what you’re looking for. 
Also, there’s a difference between the Work and Holiday jobs (subclass 462) and Working Holiday jobs (subclass 417).

Examples of these kinds of groups are: Backpackers 88 days and counting Australia and 2nd Year Visa Farm Work Australia.  

Hostels, agencies, contractors

In the majority of cases, we found a job on our own, without the help of hostels, agencies, or through contractors. We don’t really have the firsthand experience of getting a job through these channels, however, the secondhand knowledge is not very positive. So we still think it’s better to find a job without any middlemen. There’s really no point going to agencies or contractors to look for work in agriculture or hospitality, as there are plenty of positions out there.

In agricultural areas, you might come across hostels that promise to get you a job if you stay living at their place. This is a well-known practice in Bundaberg, for example. The reputation of these hostels is not great, though. Some of them offer expensive accommodation and the jobs are not always a win either, often offering only limited hours or dodgy conditions. If you want to take up on this offer make sure you’re getting at least the minimum wage, the accommodation is not overpriced and the employers treat you like a human being.


Our personal opinion is that in most backpacker jobs you’ll be the most successful if you apply for a job in person. If you show up at a workplace in person it shows you are keen to work and not afraid of personal contact. Often you’ll get some sort of answer and feedback straightaway, and you’ll have a chance to meet the boss and the colleagues, and to see the workplace. 
This approach worked for us in both New Zealand and Australia in agriculture and hospitality.

We’re not saying that it’s always the best option to use the personal approach, but it works for most of the backpacker jobs in agriculture, hospitality, tourism or shops. It usually doesn’t work well with big companies as they often only use website application, but you can always give it a shot.

When to Look for Jobs in Agriculture

With some of the jobs, it doesn’t really matter when you’re looking as they’re not that season dependent. There are, however, certain rules for backpacker jobs. If you’re familiar with them you can be at the right place at the right time, thus getting a job quicker and easier. 

The seasonality is obviously most relevant in the agriculture area. There are various jobs in various fields of agriculture industry throughout the year. Australia agriculture’s biggest money-making enterprise is farming and milk production, therefore there’s a demand for workers throughout the year.

The most of the workforce in horticulture and viticulture is required during summer, from December to May, however, the harvest season varies throughout Australia, and so there’s a seasonal need for workers based on the specific area. For this reason, we decided to put information from several sources together along with our experience. There’s a crop calendar with the dates when workers are needed down below. It’s important to realize that farmwork is weather dependent, that’s why the harvest time may vary, the season can be shorter or longer. 


The biggest state in agriculture in Australia. Queensland produces a third of all the fruit and vegetable in the country. Because of the hot climate, a lot of different kinds of tropical crops are grown here. A considerable part of Australia’s production of sugarcane, cotton, bananas, or Macadamias comes from Queensland.


  • Tully, Innisfail
  • Work all year round


  • Mareeba, Yeppoon
  • January – March


  • Caboolture (June – November)
  • Stanthorpe (February – April)


  • Atherton (March – May)
  • Mareeba (February – April)


  • St. George (December – March)
  • Laidley (January – February)
  • Ayr (September – December)
  • Emerald (October – November)


  • Ayr, Giru, Mackay
  • June – November

Wine / grapes

  • St. George (November – February)
  • Mundubberra, Emerald (November – December)


  • Dirranbandi, Emerald, Goondiwindi
  • April – May


  • Yeppoon, Mundubberra, Gin Gin, Bundaberg
  • January – February


  • Bundaberg, Gympie
  • February – August


  • Grain receival plants always need operators for the harvest season. Check out the websites of the companies running these receival points. Graincorp has plants in QLD, NSW and Victoria. 
  • October – January

New South Wales

This state produces large amounts of cotton and grains, therefore it needs workers in these areas. Backpackers know it for the production of cherries and other stonefruit and grapes around Young and Orange. At the moment there’s a boom in blueberry production in the area of Coffs Harbour.


  • Bourke, Dubbo, Hillston, Moree, Mungindi, Narrabri, Narromine, Trangie, Warren, Wee Waa
  • April – May


  • Coffs Harbour (September – November)
  • Tumbarumba (January – March)
  • Lismore (September – November)


  • Young, Orange
  • November – January


  • Batlow, Orange, Tumbarumba, Tumut
  • February – May


  • Bourke, Gol Gol, Griffith, Hillston, Narromine, Tooleybuc, Wentworth
  • Almost all year round

Grapes / wine

  • Euston, Gol Gol, Griffith, Orange, Tooleybuc, Wentworth, Young
  • Almost all year round


  • Forbes, Leeton, Tooleybuc, Young
  • January – March


(Almond, Macadamia, Walnut, Pecan)

  • Ballina, Byron Bay, Lismore, Riverina
  • May – July


  • Ballina, Byron Bay (June – July)
  • Lismore (July – October)


  • Grain receival plants always need operators for the harvest season. Check out the websites of the companies running these receival points. Graincorp has plants in QLD, NSW and Victoria. 
  • October – January


Famous for its wine region of Yarra Valley, but also a producer of the majority of almonds in the country. Victoria is a big name in apples and pears, as well, and so finding a job in agriculture in this state shouldn’t be hard either.


  • Beechworth, Cobram, Rutherglen, Yarra Valley
  • November – December

Grapes / wine

  • Mildura, Nangiloc, Nyah, Swan Hill (February – August)
  • Yarra Valley (March – April)


  • Mornington Peninsula (January – April)
  • Yarra Valley (November – April)

Almonds, pistachios

  • Robinvale, Swan Hill 
  • April – May


  • Mildura, Nangiloc, Nyah, Swan Hill
  • June – August


  • Cobram, Echuca (January – April)
  • Nyah, Swan Hill (January – February)

Apples, pears

  • Cobram, Yarra Valley (January – April)
  • Shepparton – majority of pears in the country is grown here (January – March)


  • Grain receival plants always need operators for the harvest season. Check out the websites of the companies running these receival points. Graincorp has plants in QLD, NSW and Victoria. In Victoria there’s also a company called Viterra.
  • October – January

South Australia

Same as Victoria a state well-known for its wine grown in Barossa Valley. Because of its climate, South Australia also produces citruses, apples and stonefruit in large numbers. 

Grapes / wine

  • Angaston (almost the whole period throughout February – December)
  • Barmera, Berri, Cadell, Clare, McLaren Vale (February – March, June – July)
  • Coonawarra, Penola (February – August)


  • Barmera, Berri, Cadell, Loxton, Paringa, Renmar
  • July – November


  • Barmera, Berri, Loxton, Penola, Renmark
  • January – March


  • Barmera, Berri, Cadell, Renmark, Waikerie
  • January – February


  • Grain receival plants always need operators for the harvest season. Check out the websites of the companies running these receival points. In South Australia and Victoria there’s a company called Viterra.
  • October – January

Western Australia

You’ll find the most fertile land in the southeastern part of the state, therefore the most of the crops are grown there. Western Australia produces the most of the Australia grain production, and even though you can find jobs in other areas of agriculture as well, most of it is during grain harvest. Wine is being produced in the area of Margaret River.


  • Grain receival plants always need operators for the harvest season. Check out the websites of the companies running these receival points. In WA it’s CBH.
  • October – January

Grapes / wine

  • Albany, Denmark, Frankland, Mount Barker, Swan Valley (July – August)
  • Busselton (February – April, July – August)
  • Margaret River (February – April)


  • Carabooda, Busselton, Gingin, Manjimup, Pemberton
  • August – February


Tasmania’s climate is quite different from the rest of Australia and is well-known for apples, cherries, vegetables and in recent years for wine, a well.


  • Huonville (December – January)
  • New Norfolk (December – February)
  • Richmond (December – January)


  • Huonville (March – May)
  • Launceston (March – April)
  • Richmond (December – January)


  • Bernie, Delloraine, Devonport, Richmond, Scottsdale, Smithton, Ulverstone
  • January – June

Northern Territory

Mango and melons. Can’t say we recommend going to work in agriculture in NT since there are so many other options in other states. You can find work, though, working on a cattle farm or picking mangoes and melons.


  • Darwin (September – December)
  • Katherine (October – December)


  • Darwin (August – October)
  • Katherine (May – November)

You can find more specific information on when and where to look for farmwork in the official JobSearch document. There’s also a fruit picking calendar with a map at PicktheWorld. There’s info with reviews on some of the farms. To be able to see this, you just need to quickly register.

Other Jobs in Australia

If you’re looking for a job in hospitality, have a look here, for construction jobs, click here, and for retail jobs, check out this post here.

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