Working on citrus farms in Australia provides a great opportunity to see the country and meet new people. Roles on citrus farms for seasonal workers include picking fruit, packing fruit in a shed and farm maintenance work.
Our main harvest begins in Queensland in March and continues through until October. Citrus is grown in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia, in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Looking for work
If you are looking for work, we recommend contacting a registered labour hire company, who will then find work for you on a citrus farm.
A good place to start is the Australian Government's National Harvest Trail. This website will show you where work is available and how to access it. You can also call the National Harvest call centre on free-call 1800 062 332 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am – 8.00pm AEST).
Some states are providing additional incentives for Australians wanting to take on seasonal work. You can find more information by clicking on the state below.
Be ready to start work with the FarmReady Card. This will help you learn about the industry, train online, and have all of your paperwork ready to go when you apply for a job.
Know your rights
Seasonal workers are a vital part of Australia's citrus industry. Worker rights are enshrined in law and we encourage all potential workers to contact a registered labour hire company. Seasonal worker wages are enshrined in law under the Australian Horticulture Award which you can learn more about here.
Knowing your work rights can be confusing and difficult to navigate at times. Fortunately the Australian Government has made resources available to assist workers and employers alike understand their rights within the workplace. Click here for more.
The vast majority of Australian farms will treat you well and pay you fairly for a fair day's work. If your employer does not abide by this award, or offers to pay in cash or withhold wages, we encourage you to report this and find a new farm to work on. All unethical practices should be reported here: email@example.com
Vicki Byrne, Ireland
“This is my second season in Mildura (Victoria). We loved it last year so we came back.
“I have been working in the packing shed this season and it’s a lot different than picking fruit in the field. At first I was quite nervous because it’s so different to anything I’ve done before. But I’ve loved it, it’s been such a great experience. You work so hard for your money so it’s a great achievement at the end of the day.
“I’m a quality control analyst so I check the fruit before it gets packed. I do different jobs in the shed too, I check and pack mandarins and oranges as well.
“It takes a bit of time to get used to but I’m used to it now. You’re learning every day on the job, which I like, because you’re never bored.
“Everyone works so well as a team and it’s nice to come in every day. Everyone’s so helpful, it’s a great atmosphere. We’re away from family so it’s nice to come in and feel like you’re part of a family.
“All my friends I’ve made over here are from regional Victoria, I’ve made friends for life. I appreciate things more and have learned so much doing this. I think it’s a great experience and I recommend it to anyone that comes out to Australia.”
Tom Hubrechts, Belgium
“I’m doing general farm maintenance – fixing dripping lines, cleaning up trash in between trees. I’ve never done anything like it before. I used to work in construction and distribution back home but I haven’t done any farm work yet.
“Before I left, I already had contacts in Mildura who were working on farms. Before I set foot in the country, I had my idea as to where I wanted to work.
“Obviously it took me a couple of weeks to get used to it. It’s a flexible job with different hours every day – very short days and very long days. That was new to me and took time to get used to, but after a while it was all alright.
“You’re constantly outside and can enjoy the nice weather. It’s flexible – there can be busy but times but there are also nice quiet days.
“That’s the beauty of it, it’s different every day. Every day there is a new challenge, a new experience.
“I’ve been in Mildura for over a year. I love the region, it’s a beautiful area.
“I 100% recommend it. It’s not just work, it’s an experience. It’s getting to know the locals. It’s been a very good experience and I can only recommend it.”
Saraya Bowlzer-Harrison, Great Britain
“The majority of my jobs were piece rate work (picking fruit) and everything was outside. It was quite different coming inside (the packing shed).
“I’ve been in Mildura for almost 12 months, there’s quite a lot to do here. You hear all the horror stories don’t you, like you’re going to be in the complete outback, but this region’s not like that.
“I’m an occupational therapist back at home. I never thought I’d be packing oranges. It’s different but good. I didn’t realise there would be this many different types of oranges!
“The work itself is really good. It takes you a little while to pick up what you’re doing but there are supervisors to go to and everyone helps each other out so you do pick things up pretty quickly. Like anything, once you know what you’re doing, it’s really simple.
“The thing I enjoy most about coming to the packing shed is you know everybody here. Everyone is friends. It’s a good atmosphere.
“People should definitely try it. I never thought I’d come out and be able to do the farm work days but it’s really not as bad as you might think. The shed is brilliant compared to some of the jobs I’ve had.”
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