There is a great deal of seasonal fruit picking and harvesting work available in Australia, which relies upon a casual labour force (such as backpackers) to do it. It can be hard work and the pay can vary (some pay by the hour, some pay you by the bin, box or bucket you fill).
The National Harvest Guide gives you a guide as to some of the more popular areas where work is available, as well as what times of year it is done and what type of fruits or vegetables that need picking or harvesting.
The Australian Government Harvest Trail Website provides comprehensive information about fruit picking and harvest opportunities and locations, accommodation, transport and other requirements.
When you are in Australia there is also the National Harvest Telephone Information Service (phone 1800 062 332). This service operates weekdays from 8.00am to 8.00pm throughout the year, to answer queries related to harvest labour and to connect callers to appropriate providers.
You may also be entitled to apply for a second working holiday visa after completing work in fruit picking or harvesting. For more information about this, please refer to the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.
There are a number companies advertising that they will provide the necessary documentation (for a fee) that you have completed 3 months work in a rural area so you can apply for a 2nd year visa. This is a SCAM and if the Department of Immigration finds out that people have obtained this documentation, they will possibly have their visas cancelled and be deported.
Backpackers looking for seasonal work in Australia should be alert to scam offers of fruit-picking work on farms.
Consumer Affairs Victoria urges working holidaymakers to be wary of emails, advertisements in local newspapers and fake websites that:
Avoid becoming easy pickings for scammers by researching the employment broker or agency and job offer:
Warning signs include job advertisements that only provide a post office box contact address (no street address) and any agency that guarantees you sponsored employment to work in Australia, or a quick visa.
The Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Border Protection website has information on the approved employment opportunities for each visa type.
For further information on this type of scam, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's job and employment scams page on the SCAMwatch website.