LYCHEE growers could have a good excuse to party when Lunar New Year rolls around in 2023.
The date of January, 22, lines up with the Bundaberg region's lychee harvest, and that is cause to celebrate according to North Isis farmer Kate Crook.
"When the Lunar New Year is up, you can't pick the fruit fast enough," Ms Crook said.
"Because it's a Chinese fruit, it has cultural significance and it's beautiful and decorative.
"It's a really exciting time for Chinese Australians."
The large red berries hang like Christmas baubles from the sub-tropical trees when they are ripe.
Australia has the longest lychee production season in the world - harvest begins in the northern regions from late October, before moving south until late March.
Early signs at Huxley Hilltop Farms, where Ms Crook is manager, are pointing to a bumper harvest, just in time for the Lunar New Year demand.
Despite the forecast looking good, the fourth-generation farmer is cautious about crop expectations due to a disappointing 2022 harvest.
"We only had eight (8) tonne due to weather last season," Ms Crook said.
"This coming year we are expecting over 30 tonnes.
"But Dad always says 'don't count the fruit until it is in the tray'."
Ms Crook is passionate about the evergreen trees and lovingly described the orchard "vibrating with bees" as the complicated blooming process of the lychee began just a few weeks previously.
As the first fruit emerges Ms Crook is busy installing netting to keep rainbow lorikeets from celebrating the Lunar New Year a little early.
The orchard's harvest will be picked, packed and sent primarily to Brisbane market for distribution.
Lychee growing regions in Australia include tropical Far North Queensland, Central Queensland, South East Queensland and Northern NSW.
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