Avocados in Australia
Avocados first arrived in Australia in 1840 in seed form, and were planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney. Further commercial imports of seed and plants continued over the next 110 years until by the late 1960’s when a developing Australian industry began to take shape.
Currently avocado orchards are found in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. Avocados are a perennial fruit and Australian premium produce is available all year round because of the widespread and climatically diverse growing regions. The highest volume of fruit is available between March and November.
Avocados are known to have existed from as far back as 291 BC. They originally took root in the highlands of Central America and Mexico and the lowlands of Columbia in South America, where they grew wild.
This exotic fruit was first transported to Europe in the 16th century, after the Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico and Peru. When the Aztecs discovered the unique greenish coloured fruit with a seed in the centre they dubbed it ‘ahuacatl’, which has evolved over the centuries into the word avocado.
The two main varieties of avocados grown in Australia are Hass and Shepard. Hass are in season from May through to January and Shepard’s are in season from February through to May.