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Farm work in Australia

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Farm work in Australia

1. Posted by LeoO (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Hello everyone!

I am a 20 year old currently living in California and am planning to work in Australia in fruit picking on a holiday visa.

I have worked in farms before since I was here in California and would like to what to expect when finding a job in Australia (accommodation, pay, seasons, transportation, etc.)
Also I would arrive there in February.

Any advice would be helpful!

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Oct-2015, at 15:01 by LeoO ]

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 1y

I have no experience with most of this, but for the farm seasons, see the harvest guide PDF, which describes in detail which crops are harvested when in which regions.

3. Posted by lucylucylucy6 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

You can do farm work in lots of places in auz - there is a lot of rural work available during this time as it is summer, so good time to go. I did my farmwork in a place called Griffith (rural new South Wales,a bit outside Sydney), which isn't the most beautiful of places but the town has a few hostels and is filled with backpackers so is a great place to meet people. From what iv heard though, this happens everywhere especially in big working hostels. I was in a working hostel in griffith, which meant that all the people who paid rent to live there, got allocated farmwork jobs. So it's pretty easy as someone else is essentially finding you work. And if you get fired from one.. You get a new one the next day! And the hostel runs transport usually. You live and work with everyone so there is often a family vibe in these places. Of course, you may have a bad experience but most people don't... From what I have heard. Pay varies... I had friends working in winerys in griffith which paid $22 an hour... My job packing oranges got me $16 an hour... Or you can be getting paid per box (eg how many carrots you can pack)... all places are different. I know that griffith is one of the best places as there is a lot of well paid jobs available. Accomm is around $140 a week on average, which seems a lot as you are sharing with other people usually, but I guess that includes finders fee for the work... Anyway,much easier to save money in these rural places, so not a lot in the long term. Other places I have heard of people going are: Coffs harbour (pretty little town by the sea), Bundaberg, Broome, Darwin. If you search working hostels in these places you'll be able to find stuff. If you don't like the sound of a working hostel, what you can do is just type 'rural farmwork' or 'second year visa work' into Gumtree with an area you have in mind and you will find heaps of places looking for farmhands. Basically, doesn't really matter where you go for farmwork as you will have your own experiences. Be wary though, as these people sometimes exploit backpackers and make you work for nothing, but there are plenty of good ones. Ah it's great, enjoy :)

4. Posted by LeoO (Budding Member 7 posts) 1y

Thanks for the reply!
You seem to have loads of experience doing this and I was wondering if it would be possible to save money whilst working in Australia to travel more in the future? (Assuming I spend most of my time in rural areas and don't drink a lot, I'm not a big fan of cities).

Also the one thing that confuses me the most is how taxes work for backpackers, any info on this would be helpful.

5. Posted by lucylucylucy6 (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

no problem. yehhh u can definitely save money. for example i worked 4 months in a country pub...getting food and accommodation as well as a base wage, so saved up there and then stayed in sri lanka for 3 months! It's pretty easy to save in these places, because there is little to spend money on.. and if you don't drink aswell good for savin! yeah i would avoid most cities in Aus, they are just cities and you could be anywhere. The countryside is amazing and being from California I'm sure you will appreciate it! in regards to tax.. once you arrive you will join a bank, probably commonwealth most common. Then you can apply for a tax file number online and they will send it to whereever you are. As soon as the finincial year is over in july, you can apply for tax back. I recommend just going to an accountant there. you pay $100 most places and they sort it out for you... the forms are all a bit complicated.

feel free to ask more questions, I'm happy to help!

6. Posted by backpackblogger (Budding Member 58 posts) 1y

Hey there! Re: ag jobs and accommodation - it varies quite a bit, but it seems that part of your question has mostly been answered.

I think this guy has a helpful story - a cautionary tale to keep you from getting stuck in a bad situation:
http://www.workingholidayjobs.com.au/my-australian-experience-ups-downs/

Also, I didn't find this website until the end of my OZ stay, but it was the best ag job site I found (that didn't include a bunch of duplicate ads from SEEK and Indeed and didn't require me to pay):
http://www.thejobshop.com.au/

As for your question on tax, tax laws have WHV folks in a titter lately:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/australasia-pacific-australia-new-zealand-antarctica/australia/australian-address

This one is older, but might give you some good perspective:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/australasia-pacific-australia-new-zealand-antarctica/topics/australian-tax-for-backpackers-from-a-backpacker

Hope that helps!
Cheers!