Here are answers to some questions that we are often asked about working at Swiss Farms. If you have a question that is not answered below, please give us a call and we will be happy to help.
How do I get a job at Swiss Farms?
Fill out the application form online and we will advise you by email if there are any job vacancies.
I want to work at Swiss Farms, how far in advance do I need to apply?
Unless we have specific position vacant, we do not hire people more than 1-2 weeks in advance.
Do my days working at Swiss Farms count towards are second working holiday visa?
I only want to work 2-3 weeks, should I work at Swiss Farms?
No, we don't employ people for such a short time. We have a minimum stay requirement of 3 months. If you are after only a few weeks work we would suggest working at a mango or watermelon farm.
Is banana picking seasonal?
No, we pick all year round.
How many days a week will I work?
On average 4-5 days
What is the work like?
If you have never worked physically in your previous jobs you're going to find the work very challenging and may decide that working on a banana farm is not the right option for you.
What is the weather like in Lakeland?
In the wet season (November – March) temperatures can reach 40degrees. Humidity is normally very high during this time.
In the dry season (April – October) temperatures are mild and days are clear and sunny.
How do I get to Lakeland from Cairns?
"Cairns Cooktown Express" runs a bus from Cairns to Lakeland departing daily from Cairns at 7am.
Departs from: Cairns Central Railway, Platform #1: 7:00am (Please ensure you are at The Pier 15min before departure)
Arrives Lakeland: 11:00am
Tickets can either be booked online or by phone 07 4059 1423 www.cairnscooktownexpress.com.au
I have my own vehicle how do I get to Lakeland?
It takes approximately 3 hours from Cairns to Lakeland by car. You can go via Mareeba (inland) or you can travel for part of the way along the coast and then driving inland past Julatten. The coast road via Julatten is a more scenic route but probably takes slightly longer.
Where will I live?
There are 2 accomodation options, initially you will not be given a choice but once you arrive you can request to change if you wish.
Lakeland Township – 8km from the farm
Sharehouse – you will share a room with one other person and share a house with 6-8 people. Each house has a kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities.
Caravan Park – The caravan park has camping sites, single and double rooms and a large permanent tent. There are separate bathroom, laundry and cooking facilities. For more information call (07) 4060 2033
Does the accommodation have air conditioning?
Share houses – no, but there is a fan in every room
Caravan Park – yes
I have my own car, can I camp on the farm?
No, we do not allow people to camp on our farm, we organise accommodation prior to your arrival but if you prefer to sleep in your car please request to stay at the Caravan Park.
How do I get to work?
There are buses that bring you to work from Lakeland every day.
Do I need a car?
Does Swiss Farms provide meals?
No you're required to bring your own food and water to work every day.
Is there a microwave to heat up my lunch at work?
How much will I get paid?
Most jobs on the farm are paid per piece rate contracts.
What do I bring on my first day?
- Passport (you will not be employed without a valid working visa, your visa will be checked online the day you start work)
- Bank A/c details (only Australian bank accounts are accepted)
- Tax file number
- 2-4L of water
- Food, crockery and cutlery
- Enclosed Shoes (you cannot start work without enclosed shoes)
- Sunscreen 30+
- Work clothes – please DO NOT wear your Dolce & Gabana jeans...banana sap is impossible to remove from clothing!
What type of shoes do I need to work on the farm?
Enclosed shoes must be worn at all times. Sneakers, trainers, work boots or dive boots are fine.
Will my mobile phone work in Lakeland?
No! Well almost no....only 3G or 4G Telstra phones work. And we can guarantee that the world will not stop if you can't use a mobile phone for 3 months! Public phones are available and there is a telephone in each house which allows your family and friends to call you.
Is there internet access?
Lakeland Caravan Park: Yes
Lakeland Share Houses: No, most people who decide to stay for a longer period buy a Telstra prepaid 3G internet device.
Where can I buy food?
There is a small convenience store in Lakeland which stocks basic items and the IGA in Cooktown (approx. 1 hours' drive from Lakeland) stocks a greater variety of food.