Seasons in Australia
Coming to Australia between May and November you are best to head north of the Tropic of Capricorn, as it will be what they call the Dry Season.
In the North they call this their Winter, and the Wet Season is called their Summer. It’s referred to as Winter because it’s naturally cooler than the Wet Season, even though they don’t get much rain. If any at all.
So Volunteering or WWOOFing in the Northern areas is perfect for this time of year.
In the gardens and on the farms, it’ll be seed planting time. The ground will have dried out enough to start working with the soil and planting out either seeds or seedlings that have been prepared through the Wet season.
Pineapple farms are in full swing in Queensland, offering WWOOFers a great opportunity to learn new skills in relation to growing, maturing and harvesting the famous pineapple.
Around 35 million pineapples are produced in Queensland each year across a wide variety of large commercial farms and small organic family run plots.
The pineapple is actually a result of a cluster of over 150 fertilsed flowers that form together to create the actual fruit we eat. After the pineapple matures, it is harvested, which then allows a second fruit to grow on the same plant.
After this second fruit has been harvested, the entire plant is usually mulched back into the soil for compost, and the heads off the harvested pineapples are used to strike new plants for the next season. Some plants can take up to two years to produce any fruit at all.
So now is the planting time for Pineapples, so grab your WWOOF Mobile App and search out some Pineapple plantations in Queensland.
The weather from May onwards is usually high 20s to low 30s during the day and hi teens overnight.
As for Bananas, they are grown in Queensland, northern New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. All northern tropical climates.
Banana plants are active all year round. Usually giving off two harvests per year.
The main parent plant produces the first bunches of the year, and are usually harvested during the Wet season. So if you’re planning on travelling north during the Wet, be prepared to get very wet.
The second harvest comes in the Dry season, now. It’s a lot more pleasant working conditions for WWOOFers and volunteers, or even the paid workers.
The harvesting procedure involves driving on a tractor through the rows of banana “trees” looking for the mature bunches. Mature bananas are still green when they are picked and they must be treated with special care, as we all know how easy it is to bruise a banana.
But can you imagine, going back home and telling stories about picking bananas on a plantation in the outback of Queensland.
There is also much work available in the packing sheds for both bananas and pineapples. All Australia’s tropical harvest has to be distributed all over Australia. Thus meticulous ways of packing and transport have been developed.
So it’s a great time to travel up North, May to November before the Wet season starts. Once the Wet season begins, it’s just going to rain, and rain. The temperatures will stay above 30 degrees and it’ll be muggy, sweaty and hot, mixed with rain. The usual tropical “paradise” of humidity.
Yes there is work available during the Wet season, but travelling on regional/country roads can be treacherous, as roads can be cut off without warning, leaving you potentially stranded. So take care during the Wet season and have an umbrella and raincoat with you at all times.