farming in Australia

By Blair Pedersen

Australian farming jobs – a complete guide

Whether you’re travelling through or migrating to Australia, farm work is an excellent way to get to know the locals and go on the road less travelled. Australian farming jobs tend to pay well and with the right farm, you’ll spend most of the day outside. This article will outline the benefit of Australian farming jobs, where to go and what to expect when you’re looking for farm work.

First year working visas are easy

Before you enter Australia, you’ll need a working holiday visa, which means that you’ll need a passport from an eligible country. An Australian working visa is reasonably easy to obtain if you live within one of the qualifying countries. However, there any many complexities involved with getting an Australian working visa that are specific to certain countries which are outside of the scope of this article. Visit this link to learn more about Australian working Visas.

Second year working visas are more challenging

There are specific requirements necessary to qualify for a second-year Australian working visa. As with a first year working visa, there is a list of preferential countries and a list of in demand jobs that are subject to change depending on Australia’s year by year needs. It’s best to check this website to see what the requirements are for a second year visa.

You’ll need a bank account

Once you’ve landed in Australia one of the first things you need to do is open a bank account. Visit this page to learn about opening a bank account in Australia.

And a car

Australia is huge. Even when you’re in Australia and living in a town, it’s normal to have to travel an hour in a car, on a highway to get anywhere. The distances are much larger when you’re travelling to rural locations every day, like you would with any Australian farm job. This means that you’re going to need a car to get to your job. Some farms and seasonal jobs have shuttles available that can take many people at once to the work sites, but it’s always better to rely on yourself if you can.

Accomodation

The accommodation available depends on what type of farm job you take up. Long term farm work quite often results in accommodation on the sheep or cattle station. These are often standalone houses on the property detached from the main farmhouse.

Seasonal farm work will require you to find accommodation in the nearest town or hostel. For seasonal work, it’s important to book in advance as you’ll be competing for rooms especially during harvesting season.

Here are hostel listings by state:

Our top tips to find a good farm job in Australia

Start looking early

There are many people in Australia on working holidays that are willing to get their hands dirty in a farming job. The trick is to get in early with jobs and hostels so that you can give yourself peace of mind.

Research where you’re going

It’s best to be informed when you turn up to a new town. You want to know what local amenities are available, where to go and how far away your accommodation is from your job.

By knowing this stuff, you’ll also have an informed decision about whether you even want to visit that town! It’ll also help with understanding what sights there are to see and the history of the town.

Timing

For farming and fruit picking jobs it’s important to time where you’re going to be in order to get the most out of the season. If you go in too early, you’ll have minimum work opportunities and if you go in too late, you’ll be competing with travelers. Good timing will ensure you put yourself into a position where you’re not competing with too many people for the work.

Be prepared

Are you fit enough? Working outside has its advantages but will also require a reasonable baseline of fitness. You could use the opportunity you have picking fruit in an orchard as a means to get extremely fit.

Have the right clothing

It’s generally hotter in Australia than it is in most countries around the world. This means shorts and a singlet are often appropriate attire for farm work. You’ll also need a decent pair of gumboots too. Gumboots are the ultimate piece of outdoor footwear. They’ll keep your feet dry and protect the bottoms of your legs from thorns, rocks, branches and just about anything that you can think of from the outdoors. They’re an essential piece of kit for all Australian farming jobs.

Find a job that suits your skillset

If you’re a good machinery operator, you should look for jobs that operate machinery. That said, if you’re fast with your hands and a natural early riser, milking cows might be right up your alley. The point here is, if you want to enjoy the work that you’re doing, find a job that suits and builds on your natural skillset. You’ll enjoy much more if you do.

Save some money!

When you find a job, remember to save for a rainy day. If ever ‘make hay when the sun shines’ rings true, it’s in this instance, when sometimes you will literally be making hay!

Where are the farming jobs in Australia?

Australia is an amazing country with an enormously diverse climate range. There is the tropical north that can grow food all year round, the dry outback which is better for sheep and cattle grazing and then the mild south, where dairy farming is the main industry.

South Australia

Fertile lands, a changeable, temperate climate and lots of rain mean South Australia is an excellent place for growing cash crops and raising cattle and sheep.

What type of farming jobs will I find in South Australia?

  • Sheep
  • Wine grapes
  • Cattle

If you have experience shepherding, shearing, dagging or any activities related to sheep farming, then South Australia is the destination for you.

There are also many opportunities for picking vegetables with major crops being:

  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

There’s always demand for vegetable pickers in South Australia. See this guide to learn more about picking fruit and vegetables in Australia.

Click here to see a directory of South Australian farming jobs

Victoria

Dairy farming dominates the job listings in Victoria, with reliable farm workers always in demand to operate the milking sheds.

Most of Australia’s milk is produced in Victoria. In fact, there are almost a million milk producing cows throughout the region, producing approximately 65% of all milk products.

Milking happens twice a day, first thing in the morning and then again in the early afternoon. You should expect about $21 an hour to milk cows and the work is very repetitive. If you’re on a particularly large dairy farm, in the off season you may also be required to do casual farm work around the property. However, this will depend on the farm manager and their labor requirements.

See this resource for dairy farming jobs.

Other seasonal fruit picking opportunities include:

  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Grapes

See this guide for more information on fruit picking jobs in Australia.

Queensland

Subtropical Queensland is where a large percentage of Australian fruit is grown. High annual rainfall and warm temperatures give Queensland an extended growing season that is very attractive for seasonal fruit picking and agricultural work. While it has ideal conditions for sweet, delicious fruit it is also great for growing grasses which means cattle are easily fattened up there. See this listing for cattle farming jobs in Queensland

Finding your Australian farming job

Farming in Australia is a great way to see the backblocks of one of the oldest continents on earth with fauna and a landscape unlike anywhere else in the world. The work can be hard, but as most farmers say, it can be amongst the most rewarding professions out there.

Once you’ve landed your job and settled in ready to start sending your money back, remember to consider OrbitRemit for your online money transfer. Flat fees and lightning fast transfer speeds will ensure your money gets there faster.

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