To find out how BEST Employment can assist you, contact our Stanthorpe Office on (07) 4681 6200 or our Gatton Office on (07) 5468 0300
- National Harvest Labour Information Service website
- A back packers guide - Southern Downs Regional Council website
Seasonal Harvest Work
BEST Employment provides Harvest Labour Services throughout Southern Queensland and Northern NSW. We link job seekers with seasonal harvest work where growers often have difficulty finding sufficient workers at harvest time.
BEST Harvest Labour service is a specialist harvest recruitment agency and offers a free service to horticultural producers in:
QLD: Stanhtorpe, Dalveen, Applethrope, the Sumit, Thulimbah, Wyberba, Cottonvales, Severnlea, Glen Aplin, Ballandean, Wallangarra, Texas, Inglewood, Goondiwindi, Gatton (Lockyer Valley), Toowoomba, Ipswich, Lowood, Rosewood and Wyreema.
NSW: Tenterfield, Moree and Mungindi.
The Harvest Trail Offers a great way for people to travel around Australia while working and earning money. Australian job seekers and travellers visiting Australia, who hold appropriate work visas, are eligible for harvest work.
You should be fit, flexible, reasonably strong and active. You may have to work in the rain or in 35-degree heat so be realistic about your ability and understand that the farmer needs workers who are cost-effective for his business. You can be required to carry and climb a ladder, carry a heavy picking bag from your shoulders or bend over all day cutting vegetables or picking capsicums.
You should have sufficient funds for at least 3 weeks as circumstances can change quickly and are affected by the weather. Some accommodation places require a week’s rent in advance. It is important to contact us prior to relocating to obtain up to date information.
Harvest Worker FAQS
AM I ELIGIBLE TO WORK IN AUSTRALIA?
You are eligible to work as a harvest worker in Australia if you are an Australian citizen or have a valid working visa. You will also need a Tax File Number and an Australian bank account.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO EARN?
You may be paid on an hourly rate or by how much you pick (called ‘piece rate’ or ‘contract’).
Piece rates vary depending on crop (eg apples by the bin, tomatoes by the bucket) and the type of picking eg picking apples for colour and size will be at a higher rate than stripping the tree. Check with us for up to date hourly wage rates. Most farms pay on a weekly basis.
WHERE ARE OUR OFFICES?
Stanthorpe is in South East Queensland, 220km south-west of Brisbane on the Queensland/NSW border. It has a population on 11,000 people and is part if an area called the Granite Belt- named for a unique landscape of large granite rocks. At an altitude of 950m Stanthorpe has the reputation of being the coldest place in Queensland.
Gatton is situated in the heart of the rich and fertile Lockyer Valley. Located approximately 90km west of Brisbane and 40km east of Toowoomba, it has a population of 7,000 people. The region was one of the first areas of settlement in Queensland and has traditionally been a producer of cattle and a wide range of vegetables crops, tomatoes and melons.
WHEN SHOULD I GO THERE?
Harvesting takes place between October and May when there are opportunities for seasonal workers. From June to September the demand for workers is very limited. Climate, market prices, crop size and the number of people looking for work can impact on the amount of work available.
Because of the large variety of fruit and vegetables grown in Stanthorpe, there are several ‘peak’ periods depending on the crop. In general February – April is the busiest time.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
There is little public transport in many small town and farms are located in a radius of upto 50km from the town. Some caravan parks and hostels provide transport, for a fee, for guests. Your own transport is preferable. Contact us for more details.
Tomato & Capsicum picking/packing
Apple, Pear picking/packing
Vineyard, stone fruit, apple & pear pruning
Stone fruit thinning
Picking various vegetables & strawberries
Stone fruit picking/packing
WHERE CAN I STAY?
You will need to organise private accommodation as most farms do not provide a place to stay.
There are 5 caravan and campgrounds in Stanthorpe as well as 2 backpacker hostels. Several motels and hotels also offer budget seasonal worker accommodation and there are many share houses. For comprehensive information on accommodation please contact the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre on 07 4681 2057.
There are several hotel, motels, caravan, lodges and campgrounds around Gatton, Helidon Caravan Park, Gatton Caravan Park, Grantham Farmworkers Lodge and Freedom Lifestyle Parks.
From February to April there is an increased demand for accommodation and it is advisable to book in advance.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE TO WORK?
- Water. Take 3-4 litres per person per day when hot
- Food for the day
- Sun protection
- Wide brim hat
- Long-sleeved, loose fitted shirt
- A Raincoat
- Work boots or fully enclosed shoes
- Warm clothes
- Bedding. You should be prepared for temperatures as low as 5 – 10 degrees celsius in summer and temperatures as low as 0 degrees in winter.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR FUN IN STANTHORPE?
There are many places to visit in close proximity to Stanthorpe including 4 outstanding National Parks and numerous wineries.
The nearest cinema is in Warwick (60 km north). Stanthorpe has numerous restaurants and hotels some of which provide music at weekends. There is an art gallery, library, internet café, swimming pool, gymnasium, squash courts and facilities for many other sports.
At the beginning of March on every second year Stanthorpe presents its famous Apple and Grape Festival. Further information on things to do while visiting Stanthorpe can be obtained from the Stanthorpe Visitors Information Centre on 07 4681 2057.
WHAT CAN I DO FOR FUN IN GATTON?
There is plenty to do including great wining, dining and retail therapy. Try skydiving or horse riding. There are plenty of attractions to visit in the area including Black Duck Valley 4WD Park, Gatton Pioneer Village, Davson Art Gallery, Historic Pubs/Hotels dotted along the Cobb & Co Tourist Drive, Gatton University, Gatton Equestrian Centre, and Glen Rock Regional Park – just to name a few.