Looking for work in Australia? Why not go fruit picking in Tasmania? It’s an absolutely gorgeous Australian island, with beautiful and varied landscapes, lovely architecture and renowned gastronomy. Many tourists and backpackers choose to rent a vehicle to visit it, while others take the ferry to get their van on site. It’s pretty easy to find farm work there, or to get a fruit picking job in one of the numerous Tasmanian vineyards.
WHEN DOES THE FRUIT PICKING SEASON BEGIN?
The best time to go to Tasmania to find a fruit picking job is between January and May during the Australian summer. Apples, berries, grapes, stone fruits and cherry picking are very common in Tasmania.
WHERE TO GO EXACTLY TO FIND WORK?
Most of Tasmania is great for fruit picking. Almost all parts of the island need fruit pickers! Around Hobart in the South, towns such as Richmond, New Norfolk, Huonville and Cygnet are great places to get a job. In the North, the main cities of interest are Launceston, Scottsdale, Deloraine, Devonport and Ulverstone to name a few. The question should not be so much where to go, but rather when to get there?
Indeed from January to May, the fruit picking sector recruits enormously. Just ask yourself what kind of picking you might be interested in, and learn about the fruit picking calendar. Each fruit or vegetable has its own picking dates! Here is a great link to find the crops calendar for Tasmania.
HOW DO I FIND A FRUIT PICKING JOB IN TASMANIA?
You can use two different strategies:
DOOR TO DOOR
If you own a vehicle, why not visit farms directly and ask if they need help?
Otherwise, you will have to spend time on the internet or to read local newspapers and jump on every new opportunity! Gumtree is a great resource.
Also consider looking at local backpacker Facebook groups where job offers are regularly published. The Australian government website is also good.
RECRUITMENT AGENCIES IN TASMANIA
We’re talking about seasonal work in Australia, so the fruit picking dates can change overnight. That’s why many farms go through agencies to recruit pickers, for more flexibility.
There are a few job agencies in Tasmania, such as Linx Employment. They offer lots of missions and have an important network in Tasmania. Once you register, you should be contacted for fruit picking jobs pretty quickly if you are in the right season. Employers will be quite reluctant to hire you if you don’t have a vehicle, but there are always solutions.
DO YOU NEED A VEHICLE FOR FRUIT PICKING IN TASMANIA?
Since the vineyards are far enough from local towns, having a car is essential. If you found your job via an agency, they will give an appointment to all fruit pickers at the nearest town to the farm or vineyard. Once everybody has arrived and the newcomers have filled in their documents, the agency representative will take you to the vineyard, which can be a 15 or 30 minute drive away. Being transported is essential, but it is always possible to manage if the agency doesn’t drive you there. Several solutions are available to you:
FIND A CARPOOL FOR YOUR FARM WORK IN TASMANIA
If you’re only supposed to work for one day, you can post an ad on a backpackers Facebook group to ask if anyone with a car would be interested in going fruit picking with you.
If you are staying in a hostel, you are likely to find other people interested in working there. It’s up to you to get to know and find those who have a vehicle and who will be able to offer you a lift.
Another solution is to go by yourself to the meeting point given by the agency. Once there, dozens of motorized pickers will be present, and you will always find someone to take you in his/her vehicle to the vineyard. If you are friendly, they may accept to drive you to the vineyard everyday if your job is supposed to last more than a day.
WHERE TO STAY DURING THE HARVEST?
Some farms offer lodging to their workers, but very few, if any, vineyards offer housing, as grape picking is very irregular. Jobs can last from one day to a few days, and be renewed for another week, or not. Backpackers usually decide to camp near the site when they work as grape pickers.
For example, a free campground is located northwest of Launceston, and another one around Hobart.
Hostels are another option, but they’re only available in major cities like Devonport or Launceston. Forget hostels in Hobart, because the Tasmanian capital is too far from the closest farms. HelpX can also be a great way to find housing.
WHAT SALARY TO EXPECT FOR FRUIT PICKING IN TASMANIA?
Seasonal work in Australia is very regulated, and it generally pays well in Tasmania, especially if you go through agencies. Work is very irregular but you can earn around $20 an hour or more. You will rarely have to work full weeks, and working hours are usually limited to between 4 and 7 hours per day. Hence the usefulness of registering with several recruitment agencies in Tasmania, to work for as many days as possible each week.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY FOR A FRUIT PICKER IN TASMANIA?
Usually, you must reach your meeting point at around 7:00 am.
You must report your presence to the agency, who will then lend you the necessary equipment for the day: safety vest, safety glasses and pruning shears. It’s up to you to bring a hat or a cap.
Bringing sunscreen is also a good idea as you will be spending the whole day outside, as well as food for your lunch break, and a gourd which you can refill with water during the day.
You and the other pickers will then drive/be driven to the vineyard. Once there, you’ll be working in pairs to pick up the fruit or vegetable.
The duration of your work day is very variable, between 4 and 7 h as specified above in the article. It depends on the size of the farm/vineyard of course, and especially on the weather.
You’ll be meeting lots of friends when fruit picking in Tasmania. The more missions you get, the more you will be meeting the same people, and you will feel like a big family where everybody knows and greets each other.
IS FRUIT PICKING IN TASMANIA PHYSICALLY DEMANDING?
It really depends on what fruit or vegetable you’re picking. Grape, strawberries, apple or cherry picking in Tasmania is fine, but potato picking is very demanding for your back! Read our free ebook to find more information about fruit picking and how demanding it is.
Fruit picking in Tasmania can be a rather easy job, well paid and easy to find.
It’s a great way to make money in Australia. And as a bonus, you’ll get to discover Tasmania, an absolutely marvelous island with beautiful landscapes unlike any other!