Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about farm work around Katherine. This information should help you decide if going north is the right option for you.
Katherine in the Northern Territory is The Job Shop’s busiest harvest location. We placed nearly 700 people in farm work around Katherine in 2017.
Where is Katherine?
Katherine is in the Northern Territory, about 3 hours or 300 kms south of Darwin.
What kind of farm work can I get around Katherine?
Farm work in Katherine is seasonal. What farm jobs are available depends on the time of year. Examples of jobs include picking and packing fruit, pruning trees, weeding, tractor and forklift driving, irrigation work and cattle station work.
The main crops in the area are melons, mangoes, citrus fruits, pumpkins and sandalwood. There are also cattle stations, fish farms and construction/building projects.
When is the best time to go to Katherine for farm work?
Farm work is available all year, but some seasons are busier than others.
January – March is a quiet time for farm work because it’s the wet (rainy season). There are some jobs in lemon and grapefruit picking and packing. We do not recommend travelling to Katherine specifically for farm work during this time.
April – October is the season for melons, pumpkins and other vegetables. There are also mango and sandalwood tree planting and pruning jobs. Demand for staff is consistent, but most of the jobs only last a few weeks at a time.
August – December is the busiest time of year in Katherine because of mango harvest. There is high demand for staff. If you are in Katherine during this time, you have a very good chance of getting a farm job.
Can I arrange farm work before I go to Katherine?
Probably not. Most of our farm jobs start on short notice. A farmer will ring needing 10 people to start tomorrow so we usually contact people who are already in Katherine or Darwin. Also, we prefer to place staff in harvest jobs that we have met in person.
There are exceptions for people who have good previous farm work experience. If you are an experienced mango picker with a good reference from a farm, we can likely offer you a mango picking job before you get to Katherine.
Also, if you have already done a season working for one of our farmers in Katherine and did a good job, you can contact us to arrange the same job for the next season.
How do I get a farm work around Katherine?
Go to Katherine
If you are serious about wanting farm work in the north, get up here. We cannot promise everyone a job but if you are in Katherine during the busy season and are fit to work outdoors, it’s likely you will get a job.
Get a car
Most farms around Katherine are out of town and you need a car to drive to and from work each day. People who have cars always get work faster than people without cars.
Prepare to wait
Harvest work can be unpredictable due to weather and the crops. Do not expect to get farm work the day you arrive in Katherine. Keep in mind that you are in a better position waiting for farm work in Katherine than you are in Sydney or Melbourne.
Keep a positive attitude
It’s hot. You are running out of money. Your visa is almost up.
We get it. We would LOVE to get everyone a harvest job!
The reality is that Job Shop staff have no control over when harvest work comes up. We do not control the weather. We cannot control when melon prices drop and farmers decide to stop picking melons. Please appreciate that The Job Shop staff do our best to get everyone into work who is capable. Coming into the office complaining does not help anyone. Being polite and having a positive attitude will put you in a much better position for a job.
Lots of people get multiple jobs with The Job Shop. When one job finishes, they contact us to get another one. We are always happy to offer more work to people who have good references from previous employers. How do you make sure to get a good reference? Work hard!
Katherine, NT is a fantastic place to do farm work if you come at the right time of year and are patient, keep a positive attitude and work hard.
Many of our previous staff who have worked in the area have enjoyed their experience and earned some good money to use for their future travels.