Trailing the harvest BY Andrew
The following information is sourced from The Harvest Guide 2015.
Australia is well renowned as a producer of quality foods, especially our fresh food products, and we are also well renowned as a destination for backpackers from all around the world including Australians. When you combine the two, you can have an almost unbelievable working holiday that can take you to all corners of the continent on the Harvest Trail.
Let us begin with the bare basics: you are healthy enough to do sometimes very physical activities; you have 6 months to a year of time to spend travelling about; you need to earn as you go; you can provide your own transport. A lot of the work isn’t too demanding but if this sounds like you, then maybe seeing the sights, earning a few dollars, and possibly living a very healthy life can lead you into a new direction.
For Echuca, Cobram, Beechworth and Shepparton, February, March and April are the busiest times of year for harvesting, with November and December the next busiest. Folks from hereabouts could make a start to ‘their trail’ in February and by the end of April, plans can be made to set off to the next fruitful area.
You could make a choice of many from here, where heading to the Mildura area could see you spend up until September working solidly in the farming districts; or Tumut and the surrounds have apples up ’til May. But why not get a little further out and see Byron Bay, Lismore and Ballina, with harvesting getting strong from May/June.
Depending on the direction, South Australia can take over where Mildura ends, with solid harvesting beginning from June in most areas of the south east, while just over the border into Queensland is Boondah and a year-round harvest of different kinds of vegetables.
Further north will take you to strawberry lands in Caboolture, vegetables in Laidley, vegies and tomatoes in Bundaberg, sugarcane in Mackay and Giru, banana territory in Tully and Innisfail, with quite a few of these places operating all year round and the rest in full swing by May/June.
There isn’t much happening in the Territory, but Katherine and Darwin have mangoes going for about 3 months from September/October; while over in the Western state, July/August appear to be the busiest times, with Swan Valley – just north of Perth – all the way down to Albany having solid harvesting. Further north, in Carnarvon and all the way up at Kununurra, you can have some solid work from May to November.
The potential to really plan your movements according to the Harvest Trail could see you with solid work, some really good income, and a journey that can take you all around and through some of Australia’s greatest landscapes. Not to mention meeting all kinds of people from all around the world that you would be working along side of.
For more information, do take a look at www.harvesttrail.gov.au or phone 1800 062 332.