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Orange Picking / Packing

Earning Cash during Orange Season, While Backpacking In Australia

Backpackers in Australia have found a new way to finance their travel through fruit picking jobs that is quite in demand in certain areas. Orange season in Australia, along with other citrus fruits, has been greatly anticipated because of this. Oranges are mostly grown in the Riverland of South Australia as well as regions in Queensland, particularly Central Burnett. Navel oranges are very common in Australia but so are Valencias too. Picking oranges requires you to know when they are ripe and ready for harvest, like for example, an orange should be heavy and bright colored, as well as firm and has a fine texture. When picking an orange, make sure not to take those who have patches or bruises, uneven color and wrinkled skin.

Although the orange fruit’s skin color is not enough basis to know when it is ripe, it’s one indicator of how fresh and sweet it will be. The main varieties of oranges in Australia include Winter Navel, Summer, Navel and Valencia. Navel oranges are available from June to October while Valencias are present during the November to February season. These oranges also have smaller versions such as the Parsons Brown and Hamlin, in which, the latter is known to be a chance seedling, originally owned by A. G. Hamlin. Citrus plantation in Australia is strategically planned in order to provide a year round supply from summer to the winter season.

The gracious backpacker in Australia may see the importance of fruit picking job as it is another way of filling a grim financial need. Most people who apply for this type of job can attest that it has become a great source of money. Aside from this, the Australian Government through its immigration, has recently proposed and introduced a guaranteed 12 month visa extension to backpackers who have worked for 3 months in their accredited sites, so if you are doing it for the visa purposes, make sure to work for the accredited ones.

Fruit picking jobs in Australia also comes in different pay rates as most of them do this on a piece rate system. Others will offer you a pay per load or bucket, even on every cart that you are able to fill as well as the quantity of product available. While it may be fun and an easy way to make money, it also requires you to be physically fit and healthy to do the job. Work hours can be very long from sunrise until late after the sun sets. Fruit plantations are usually located in the rural areas so it may be impossible for you to just walk to a nearby store or café for a break. If you are lucky, you might end up with an employer who offers free accommodation and dining while you work for them, but mostly, it’s all up to you. Expect to be joined by other backpackers in the rural area, but most of all the joys of being one with local Aussies who also work for the farm can give you a lifetime experience.