Cairns Life – Information about Cairns

An information site for people about Cairns, Australia

Agricultural work in the Cairns area

If you are reading this you are probably a backpacker. If so, I know first-hand how hard it is to get specified work in order to qualify for your second working holiday visa. When I realised my visa clock was ticking, I came to Cairns in search of the three months farm work in order to gain the magic pass for all us travellers: the visa extension.

I remember researching for hours the different areas around Cairns: the work, the seasons, the crops and what not. To make this process a lot easier (and quicker), here’s my guide to seasonal work around Cairns:


Located on the beautiful Atherton tables approximately 60KM inland from Cairns, Mareeba is one of the larger farming towns in the area. With stores, pubs and even a nightclub, working holiday makers are sure to feel at home here. But with a plethora of backpackers pouring off the bus every single day, jobs here are hard to find and are purely luck of the draw.  I would advise calling up QITE before you even booked a seat on the bus: they can advise you if the season is in full swing and inform you of any available vacancies.

Seasons :r500671_2644585

All year long – Paw paws, bananas, citrus

February to March – Longans

February to May – Avocados

October to February – Pineapples

November to January – Lychees

November to March – Mangoes

On your day off:

Feed cute rock wallabies at Granite Gorge or explore the crystal cool caves at the majestic Emerald Creek Falls.


millaaAtherton is the largest town on the ‘prettier side’ of the Tablelands, making it a perfect fruit-picking base for those that love all things nature.  Working Hostel Atherton Travellers Lodge can help you to find work as well as provide accommodation, but the costs are pricey and the work is hit and miss- make sure to check out hostel review sights before you book! Same goes for working hostel Tolga Country Lodge, which sits in the middle of nearby small, peanut-crazy village Tolga.


January to December – Bananas

February to June – Avocados

March to July – Custard apples

September to December – Potatoes

On Your Day off:

Head south to the crater lakes Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham for a refreshing dip, live your inner-fairy tale with a picnic at the stunning Millaa-Millaa falls or be dazzled by a 6ft Crystal at The Crystal Caves.


Located an hour South of Cairns, Innisfail is a great place to go if you’re looking to do your seasonal work through a working hostel- a great way to make friends! Try calling Innisfail Budget Backpackers, Codge Lodge, Backpackers Retreat or Endeavour International Backpackers to check work availability before booking.


All year long- Bananas

On your day off:

Head up the highest mountain in Queensland, Mt Bartle Frere or indulge in your romantic side at Spanish castle Paronella Park.


The self-confessed banana capital is located 140km south of Cairns along the Bruce Highway. Home to the giant wellington boot, the wettest place in Queensland is a good place to go for all round work.  Working Backpackers Banana Barracks is well-established and is a sure fire way to find work. But be warned: waiting lists for work are inevitable.


All year long- Bananas

On your day off:

Take a short bus ride to postcard picture-perfect Mission Beach or get your adrenaline fill white-water rafting along the Tully River.


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This entry was posted on 30/07/2013 by in Working In Cairns.


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