Looking for seasonal work?

If you are looking for work on orchards or packhouses try:

Work the Seasons – www.worktheseasons.co.nz/horticulture 

Please note that while some roles are being advertised now, many more will be advertised closer to peak harvest time from December to February, so keep checking the job listing page.

Summerfruit NZ is the organisation that represents the industry and is based in Wellington. It does not employ seasonal workers.

Learn about the summerfruit industry

Among the first crops to be picked in New Zealand are summerfruit – apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums.

Nearly 2,000 hectares of summerfruit thrive in the warmth of the country’s most scenic regions – Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, and Central Otago. Their cool winters and hot dry summers produce the sweetest and tastiest fruit.

Around 230 growers take great care in nurturing their trees to ensure the most delicious summerfruit reach market in top condition. Harvest takes place between November and March with December to February the peak harvest time for cherries – which make up 70% of summerfruit exports. 

Every year a small army of workers arrive on orchards to help during the harvest season and take on picking, sorting & grading, packing, machine operation, and forklift driving roles. Not all work is outside and while a good standard of fitness is useful, enthusiasm, and reliability are required. 

Thinking about seasonal work?

We have produced some information for people interested in seasonal work on what to expect when working on a summerfruit orchard or packhouse. 

Employees opening frame

Employers opening frame

 What to expect working during harvest  What an employer expects from employees

The key is to think about what your priorities are and look for jobs that suit those priorities. Click here to find out some more useful information if you become a seasonal worker on a summerfruit orchard. 

Employer charter

We have also produced an employer charter in conjunction with our Board. This document outlines what employers expect from their seasonal workers and what conditions of work can be expected, plus some general guidance including where workers can find assistance. 

Click here to find out what potential employees should expect from potential employers. 

Accommodation finder – Queenstown & Wanaka

Finding somewhere for seasonal workers to stay in Central Otago has always been challenging. We've created a list of options for people looking to find temporary accommodation that may help workers and employers alike. Click here to check out some options.

Campervan & motorhome rental options

Travel and accommodation for the season is sorted with a campervan or motorhome rental. If mobile accommodation appeals, we've put together a list of companies that are offering great rates to seasonal workers and employers. Please note that this information will be reviewed and updated regularly. Click here to check out some options.

Seasonal work webinar 

But don't just take our word for how good seasonal summerfruit work is, here is a link to watch GoHort's Chelsea Donnelly and former summerfruit seasonal worker Jacob Coombridge talking about working on an orchard over summer.

Best of luck for finding work.