Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Backpackers arrive to pick region's bounty

Cobram is due for an influx of fruit pickers towards the end of January.

RANDALL JOHNSTON January 11, 2013 4:15am

Backpackers Motitz Kuper from Germany and Claire Bodin from France are enjoying their stay in Cobram, camping out along the banks of the Murray River and working as fruit pickers.

Cobram is due for an influx of fruit pickers towards the end of January.

CVGT Australia Cobram branch manager Michael Davies said while international travellers looking for work on the land were already arriving and working in the area, higher numbers were expected soon.

He said about 10 people were registering with the employment company for temporary work on orchards every day.

‘‘At the moment there are not a lot of people in town and there is not a lot of work yet,’’ Mr Davies said.

‘‘Although the picking season goes from November until May, peak season is from about the third week in January until the end of March.

‘‘We are seeing similar numbers looking for work this year to what we had this time last year.

‘‘The most common nationalities we see are French, South Korean, German, Belgian and English.’’

German backpacker Moritz Kuper arrived at Cobram-Barooga just before New Year’s Eve and, although getting here a bit too early for the work, said he was enjoying his new surroundings.

‘‘We were staying in Melbourne when we saw an advertisement for peach pickers in Cobram on the internet,’’ he said.

‘‘So we decided to come up here and are just waiting for the full-time work to come through now.’’

Mr Kuper arrived in Australia about a year ago and has worked in regional NSW and picked cherries in the Yarra Valley.

‘‘I’ve had some really good times,’’ he said.

‘‘The people are really friendly and the nature and wildlife is just incredible here.’’

His French travelling companion Claire Bodin, 25, arrived in Australia five months ago.

They are enjoying camping by the river and exploring the area.

‘‘The stars are so beautiful here,’’ Miss Bodin said.

‘‘We’ve only worked one day so far picking nectarines, but it’s been nice.’’

Miss Bodin plans to stay in Australia for another two years.

‘‘I really love Australia and will be recommending for my friends to come for a working holiday,’’ she said.

Mr Kuper’s time is nearly up and he will be travelling on to stay with friends in Taiwan in February.

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