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Pros and Cons of Fruit Picking in Australia

Pros and Cons of Fruit Picking in Australia

Wednesday 12th December 2012

Many backpackers decide that when they travel to Australia that they will look for a job fruit picking. This is because they see fruit picking as a way to work in the sunshine, meet some new friends and earn some extra cash for their travelling.

However, fruit picking is not for the faint-hearted and can be very hard work. Below, we give you a balanced argument regarding fruit picking in Australia highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this line of work when taking a gap year.

About Fruit Picking in Australia

Fruit picking in Australia is a seasonal job and depending on the region you are visiting the work ranges from gathering table grapes, olive picking, lettuce picking and general orchard work as well as packing up the fruit once it has been picked.

Advantages of Fruit Picking in Australia

The main advantage of fruit picking is that the work is available across Australia and there will always be a need for fruit pickers. It is a great way to travel from place to place and build upon your experience each time and the amount of responsibility you are able to take on in the next role.

You can also be very flexible in when you work and how long you work for. You get paid for what work you do, so you can decide if you want to work for a week, month or for longer. This type of work also means that you don’t need any qualifications for the job so you can often find and start work on the same day.

You will often meet other travellers this way and if the farm you are working on provides you with accommodation, you get to socialise and make new friends this way.

Disadvantages of Fruit Picking in Australia

Although most fruit farms who hire gap year workers on a temporary contract basis also provide accommodation and food, the working hours can be long and potentially back breaking. It also often involves a very early start in the morning in order to keep the fruit and vegetables crisp and fresh before the intense summer heat kicks in.  

The pay also isn’t great and will be the minimum wage. Sometimes you will be paid a ‘piece rate’ which means per amount of fruit you collect. Therefore, this depends on how quick and efficient you are at working. Again, when the summer heat kicks in, this can be a problem and impact your speed to collect fruit.

When you are taking on this type of work you also need to remember that the farms you are working on won’t be located in a city and are often found a few hours away from a town or city. This means that you may be working in remote locations so you won’t be able to visit local cafés and bars easily – however, not that you may want to after a day of hard graft on a farm!