Margaret River is the ideal destination for backpackers to come and complete their farm work. The adorable town of Margaret River is a work class holiday destination, famous for surfing, wineries, good food and spectacular scenery. So you can be sure that you will have a wonderful time in Margaret River while completing your farm work.
The region is home to over 130 wineries and is famous for being one of the world’s largest wine producers, which means they are constantly recruiting for Vineyard Jobs in Margaret River.
This is a guide to finding farm work in Margaret River, including where to look, the best time to come, what you will need and other tips.
Finding farm work in Margaret River
Several labour-hire companies have offices in the Margaret River and specialise in the recruitment of casual workers for vineyard work.
To find farm work in Margaret River, the first place to start is at a recruitment agency. Some include:
- Labour Solutions
- Down to Earth Agribusiness
You could even contact the agency before arriving in Margaret River to secure a position for your arrival.
Alternatively, you could reach out to the vineyards individually for information about farm work.
There are opportunities in different kinds of farms in Margaret River, but vineyard jobs are the most common.
The best time to do farm work in Margaret River
Grape Picking season in Margaret river runs from February – April. This is when all vineyards are recruiting in bulk, making it the best time to do farm work in Margaret River because opportunities are ample, and having so many backpackers in town makes a for a vibrant atmosphere.
Generally, the busiest times are grape picking season (February-April), and pruning season (June-September).
But not to worry, there is farm work year round. If you come at a different time, it will just mean that you will be doing a different job. Instead of picking grapes you might be weeding, or doing other tasks to help the grapes grow, such as “delegging” or “branch thinning”.
Finding accommodation in Margaret River
To find short-term room rentals, I suggesting using Gum Tree. Long term rental options are also available.
What you need for a vineyard job
To work on a vineyard in Margaret River, you will need to purchase a few things. Unfortunately, they are not supplied but are essential:
- Gumboots / waterproof boots
- A hat
- Long sleeve shirt
- Waterproof jacket
You can purchase these things at Bunnings Warehouse in Margaret River after you arrive.
What to expect when working on a vineyard in Margaret River
What to expect depends on the vineyard you are working at and the time of year you come to Margaret River.
During the grape-picking season, more people will be in town, the teams will be bigger, and the days longer. During other parts of the year, the teams will be smaller, but the work will never stop.
I worked in the vineyard for three weeks and it is HARD work. You will be moving all day, and it can be hard on your body! Generally, there is no bathroom nearby, which makes for an interesting challenge for women. You also don’t have access to a kitchen, therefore you won’t want to pack lunch that requires a fridge or microwave. Generally, shops are not nearby, so everyone packs lunch and sits in their car during the 30-minute lunch break.
On some occasions, you will be working at the same vineyard with set hours. On other occasions, you may be moving vineyards on a daily basis. Ideally, it is best to find a consistent job so you know where you need to go each day, and don’t have to travel to different places.
To get to the farms you will need a car! If you are lucky, you may be able to ask someone on your team to pick you up and drop you home on the way, but payment will be expected in the backpacking community.
Farm work pay rates
Some farms will pay you hourly, others will pay ‘per piece’, meaning they pay according to how much work you get done. Ideally, you should try and find a role that pays hourly as the per piece payment system can leave you working for very little money. Is this legal? I am not sure. Unfortunately, it is just a reality of farm work in Margaret River. One thing for sure is that you will be working hard for your money. But if it means another year in Australia, I would say that it is worth it.
Farm Jobs WA
If Margaret River isn’t the destination for you, fear not. There are plenty of other farm jobs in WA (Western Australia). The best place to search for farm jobs in WA is on Gumtree. Many local hostels also have contacts and are happy to help.
Other tips for finding farm work in WA
- Talk to local hostels and agencies to find farm work.
- If you can find a job that pays hourly, go for it!
- The first few days on the farm are the hardest!
- Be prepared to work hard.
- Always cover up and wear sunscreen, the Australia sun is very harsh, even on cloudy days.
- Search for Facebook groups so you can connect with other backpackers doing the same thing.
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