Harvest Work Information

General information

 As well as a great place to chill out from your travels, Childers Eco-lodge is also a working hostel. We match backpackers looking for casual work with local employers and farms. There may be harvest work or other farm work. There is no cost to backpackers for this service.To enquire about working here, please fill out the Work Application Form or email your details to info@childersecolodge.com.au 

We service farms around Childers and north to Gin Gin so there is a wide range of harvest work in vegetable and fruit picking year round.  Our main work is Mango picking in January, Avocado picking March - July, Citrus picking October to march, and zucchini picking year round.  We also have other seasonal work at times during the year. Most of our farms pay an hourly rate so you earn good money and jobs are highly sought after.  Payslips are provided and work qualifies for the second year Working Holiday Visa.  

We expect you to work hard and respect the hostel and our rules.  If you are working you pay the weekly accommodation rate in advance.  A bond is required via cash or credit card number (held not charged). The amount depends on what job you do and whether there is gear supplied.

Mango Season: January


The 2018 Mango picking season is estimated to start early January and run for approximately 1 month.  It is hot work involving long hours 7 days a week during the season.  It is very weather dependant so storm delays are likely (you can't pick in the wet).  

Mango picking is done from the ground or on a cherry picker.  The fruit is very delicate and bruises easily so you have to be careful as well as quick. To drive a cherry picker you need to not be afraid of heights!

The sap from the mango stem can cause an allergic reaction in some people - called Mango rash.  If you get mango rash you cannot continue working as the toxin builds up the more contact you have with it, causing inflammation and swelling.  This also means that you cannot eat mangoes during picking season as this increases the chance of getting mango rash!  People with pale skin or red hair are more susceptible to mango rash, so take that into consideration if you are looking to apply.  If you do get Mango Rash there is a possibility of moving onto citrus picking if positions are available.

The mango farm is the same one that we place pickers for avocados (March to July) so if you are a good worker you may be invited to do avocado season. 

Avocado season: March - July

Avocado season in Childers runs from March to July.  There are limited places available and they usually fill up weeks in advance. Please fill in the Contact form and call to see if there are places left. Picking avocados usually offers stable work 5 days a week, 7.00 - 3.30pm for the season.  The cooler Autumn and Winter temperatures and long season make it a popular job to qualify for the Second Year Working Holiday Visa. 

Avocadoes are picked from the ground or a cherry picker; you need a drivers license to operate a cherry picker, and not be afraid of heights.

These farms pay an hourly rate so you  earn good money and jobs are highly sought after.  

We encourage you to use your own transport to get to work and car pool with others. That way there is no extra cost if you have a car, or you just contribute to petrol if you are getting a ride with someone.  

Citrus Season: October to March

Lemon picking is available paying a good bin rate. Working 6-7 days a week and running October to March this is a good chance to get all your visa days.  Places become available throughout the season.

As it is a bin rate, how much you earn depends on how much effort you put in.  Some people make more than the equivalent hourly rate. Hours are generally 10am - 5.30pm although may vary 

You are issued with a picking bag, gloves, a sizing ring and we require a $100 bond for this (credit card number or cash).  You need long sleeve Hi-vis shirts (minimum of 3), shorts or long pants, closed shoes, hat, and water bottles.  We are required to bus you to the farm and transport costs $5 per day you work.

Small Crop picking & packing

There are a variety of small crops grown in the region including sweet potatoes, zucchinis, rockmelons, watermelons, lychees, chillis, and tomatoes, blueberries for which picking comes up at various times.

There is also farm and tree maintenance work outside of the main picking seasons including grafting, pruning, and planting.

Physical requirements

Fruit picking is strenuous work involving working long hours,often in the heat, and doing repetitious tasks that can be physically demanding. This means sufficient physical fitness is an inherent requirement of working as a fruit picker. 

You need to be mentally prepared to be working outdoors, on your feet, in the Queensland heat. You will be briefed on safety and how to avoid heat stress.  It is important to drink lots of water, eat well and not be hungover or dehydrated for work.

Some jobs start work very early in the morning and are finished by lunchtime to avoid the hottest part of the day.  Other jobs start later depending on the crop and the farm schedule.


How do I apply for a job?

To enquire about farm work and staying at Childers Ecolodge please fill in the Work Application Form  or emai info@childersecolodge.com.au ,  with the following information: 

  • Name/s
  • Phone/s
  • Current location & when you could arrive
  • How long you want to work for
  • Any farm work experience
  • If you have a drivers license
  • If you have your own transport and number of seats

Can I go on the waiting list?

If when you apply we do not have any jobs available we put you on the waiting list for 2 weeks.  If you are still looking 2 weeks after you send in your Work Enquiry Form, just send us another email every couple of weeks to stay on the waiting list.  Of course if you are waiting at the hostel you are first in line for jobs over those on the email waiting list. 

How much would I get paid?

Most of our farms pay an hourly rate so you earn good money and jobs are highly sought after.  The current Horticultural Award rate is $22.86 per hour.

Some jobs pay by contract rate (by bucket, bin, or bunch).  You will be told what the rate is, and how much you are expected to pick to give you an idea of what an average worker will earn.

With contract rates the faster you work the more you pick and the more you earn. With hourly rate what you earn is set. In either situation, if you are not performing your work to  the required standard , or if you don't have a good attitude or listen to instructions, you will not be required any longer.

Will I get a payslip?

Payslips are provided and work qualifies for the second year Working Holiday Visa.  

What do I need before starting work?

  • You must have a valid 417 Working Holiday Visa or the right to work in Australia.
  • You must have an Australian bank account.
  • You must have (or have already applied for) an Australian Tax File Number.

What clothes and gear do I need?

You will be sent a description of the work and requirements when you are accepted for a job.  Different farms have different requirements:

MANGO PICKING you will need

  • Tshirt (NOT long sleeve, no singlets)
  • Shorts or long pants
  • Closed shoes - trainers or sneakers are fine (flip flops or sandals are not suitable)
  • A hat or cap
  • Sunscreen to put on in the morning
  • Water bottles –3-4 litres in summer
  • To take your own healthy lunch and snacks in your own cooler bag  
  • Minimum 3 sets of work clothes - you must wear clean clothes each day to reduce allergic reaction to mango sap.