Orchard and Vineyard Work in Central Otago

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Central Otago is a corner of New Zealand where you should plan to spend more than just a few days. In fact, for many people repeat visits are a must to take in all that the region offers. This summer is a great time to enjoy some of its highlights – such as getting out on any of the three ‘Great Ride’ cycle trails, visiting a local winery, exploring those small towns and places that still tell the rich stories of their past with a modern twist. Look out for the newly launched Central Otago Touring Route – an officially signed route connecting Dunedin and Queenstown via Middlemarch, Ranfurly, Alexandra and Cromwell. Or you may want to be among the first people to cycle / walk the new Lake Dunstan Trail due to open March 2021.

The region is renowned for producing the very best export quality fruit, and roadside stalls selling local produce are a welcome feature. Over summer and into autumn, orchards are bursting with fruit. And this year there’s a real need for people who can commit some time to work in Central Otago’s orchards and vineyards.


With international borders remaining closed, Central Otago growers are desperately in need of staff for the season’s harvest. If you do have some spare time, are looking to create some new memories, and earn money to fund your travels while also helping out a community, a Central Otago harvest could be for you.

The season runs from November through May, peaking in January, with up to 5000 jobs needing to be filled. There are not enough local residents or unemployed workers to get the job done.

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If you are keen to consider doing some seasonal work in Central Otago this year, it’s not all climbing ladders, but you do need to have a reasonable level of fitness. There is plenty of variety for both indoor and outdoor roles. These include packhouse quality control and supervision, machinery operators, and of course picking. A number of growers offer camping on site and flexible working conditions so even if you can only work a certain number of hours per day or days per week, or maybe just for a couple of weeks, there may well be an opportunity for you.

Making a meal of it at Plume Cafe Matakana

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For more information on the type of work, the season, frequently asked questions, or to view job listings, visit centralotagonz.com/seasonal-work. If you know of other people who may be interested in working in Central Otago this summer, we encourage you to let them know!

We hope to see you in Central Otago this summer.

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