Backpackers

On your working holiday in Mildura you can both work and play and as an added bonus farm work in Mildura qualifies towards your 88 day quota to apply for a second year visa. Mildura is well known as a haven for travelling workers with an abundance of large fruit properties needing many willing hands to harvest their valuable crop.

Mechanical harvesting has reduced the need for as many farm hands as were once needed and while this work still exists it can be harder to find at certain times.

If you are coming to Mildura only for farm work, we recommend that you do some research before travelling to ensure that work is available. A good place to start is by contacting the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332 (within Australia) or visit www.harvesttrailgov.au they will give you up to date advice on work and conditions in the area and only list jobs for farmers that do the right thing by their workers.

MADEC Australia operates Australian Government Harvest Labour Offices in Mildura has strong links with the areas' growers. Our visitor information and booking centres will help you find a hostel that has a good reputation - please do your research before choosing a hostel or accepting any work.

Many hostels offer work and transport, which means that you can enjoy your time in Mildura while earning extra dollars. When the working day is finished you can relax at the numerous entertainment venues such as pubs and nightclubs. There are a number of restaurants that cater for the backpacker at reasonable prices.

Australia boasts a wealth of opportunities to earn cash and experience the country as you enjoy your travel adventure. As is the case wherever you travel you need to look out for your own personal safety and security. This also applies when accepting work and entering accommodation arrangements. 

To safeguard yourself some good habits to get into are:
  • Always ask for a receipt of payment and hold onto it 
  • Look for the accommodation house's certificate of registration (usually on the wall in the lobby area)
  • Ask how and when you are being paid - make sure you understand these arrangements
  • Seek assistance early if you think something is wrong 

While most employers and landlords do the right thing, there is a minority that sets out to take advantage of adventurous, trusting and vulnerable people - this is the same wherever you travel in Australia. 

This information provided by Mildura Tourism should be taken into account wherever you choose to visit.

It is not unusual if your employer asks to see (or even takes a photocopy of) your passport to check that your visa permits you to work in Australia.

Be careful though - questionable operators often demand things like handing over your passport, ask you to pay a large security deposit (bond) or charge more than one week rent in advance.

Irregular and unusual actions that should make you suspicious of the boss or landlord include:
  • Insisting on holding onto your passport while you stay or work with them
  • Insisting on more than one week's rent in advance
  • Paying a "finder's fee" for work
  • No pay after one week's work (allow a couple of days for processing)
  • No payslip supplied upon request
  • Deductions from your pay that you have not earlier agreed to (tax must be deducted by law)

Fruit Fly and other biosecurity measures are taken very seriously in our region - please refer to the section on our website to make sure you're not unknowingly placing yourself (and the region) at risk.

We want your time in Mildura to be enjoyable and productive. Your feedback, both good and bad will assist Mildura Tourism to work with operators to deliver the best possible experiences.
 
Frequently asked questions:
How much will I get paid?

Rates will vary depending on the type of work. Most will pay by the hour, but some may pay on quantity picked. Working holiday makers are entitled to the same pay and conditions as Australian workers - contact Fair Work Australia on 1300 799 675 or inquiries@fwc.gov.au with any specific pay enquiries.

What hours/days do I work?
A normal day is 8 hours, generally starting between 6-7am and finishing around 3.30pm. In the middle of the season work can be 7 days a week.

When do I get paid?
Payday is usually Thursday or Friday. Employers won't pay in advance so you must have enough money to last until then. Don't be afraid to ask your employer for a payslip.

Where do I stay?
There are many backpacker hostels in the area who can also assist you in finding work as well as providing transport to/from work. Alternatively tents are sometimes provided on the farm or you may also choose to stay at the closest caravan park or pub. Do your research before deciding where to stay.

Is transport provided?
If not staying on site, you will need to arrange your own transport. Several backpacker hostels in Mildura provide transport, this may involve a cost - please make your own decision that you are comfortable with any charge as it may be deducted from your wage.

What equipment do I need?
You need a small brim hat that protects your head and neck. Long sleeve shirt, hard-wearing pants, solid boots or shoes, sunscreen, water bottle, food and insect repellent.

What is the job like?
The work is repetitious and tiring and often undertaken in hot conditions. You need to be reasonably strong, fit and active.

How to
contact us

Mildura Visitor Information
and Booking Centre

Ph: +61 3 5018 8380 or
Freecall 1800 039 043 (within Australia)
E: tourism@mildura.vic.gov.au
www.mildura.vic.gov.au

Wentworth Visitor Information Centre
Ph: +61 3 5027 5080
E:tourism@wentworth.nsw.gov.au
www.visitwentworth.com.au