Wonny Olives to Oil

Wonny Olives to Oil


Have your olives turned into olive oil for free at this community event.  In 2023 we pressed over 1 tonne of olives from people just like you.

Simply harvest your olives (or have one of our volunteers harvest for you) and bring them to the Rescue Station on the dates above.

We will weigh them and then press the olives and you will be able to collect your oil as it flows out of the press there and then (well it takes a little while!)

What does it cost?

Nothing.  Yes – that’s right. $0.

But you can help by becoming a member of The State Coal Mine Rescue Station Arts Inc.  You can be part of this welcoming and vibrant arts organisation for only $11 – so why not join? 

Any donations are also thankfully received with any proceeds going to the Rescue Station to cover their costs of hosting the event.

You can also help by being a volunteer to either pick olives for those who aren’t able to – or you can help by learning how to operate and clean the press so we can share the workload.

Do I need to tell you that I will be bringing some olives?

Yes please. That way if there are any changes we can tell you.  So please send us an email (preferred) or text (see below) even if you are only just thinking about being a part as soon as you can.  Naturally we won’t share your contact details with anyone else.

When should I pick the olives?

Olives oxidise quickly and we want the freshest we can to make the oil.  You know that saying about a rotten apple?  Well the same with olives.  If someone puts in olives that have started to ferment it means that everyone’s olive oil will be tainted.

We have had to set a date when past experience tells us that the olives are ready to be picked which is when they are nearly ripe and have begun to change colour from green to purple.  However be careful.  Because we are in Australia olives have a tendency to get sunburnt which means that on the outside they may be purple but inside they are far from ripe.

You should be aiming for your olives to be between Stage 2 and Stage 5 of ripeness.  Look to the right to see what this looks like.

So – pick no earlier than two days prior to the drop off date.

How should I pick the olives?

Olive trees can be prickly – so

  • wear some eye protection – sunglasses will do
  • if you have long hair – wrap it in a scarf or under a hat to stop it getting tangled
  • avoid wearing anything with buttons as they can get caught

There are two methods to pick olives.  Hand foraging & Beating

  • the best way to pick by hand is to use a foraging basket which goes around your shoulders to give you both your hands free to collect the fruit
  • pick all the olives off the tree – even if they have not ripened evenly
  • beating with a long pole is an ancestral technique which has the ground under the olive tree covered with a net or tarpaulin and the picker hit the olive branches which has the effect of the ripe olives falling onto the ground.

How much oil can I expect to get?

All olives will be weighed and the oil shared.  Past experience tells us that 10 kilos of olives becomes 1 litre of oil.  So please bring along containers to collect your oil as it comes out of the press.  Your olives will be processed in one batch along with all the others, so the oil will be a blend of types.  

Also please bring a container to take away your share of the discarded seeds and skins which you can use on your garden.  In rough terms you should bring containers that are the same volume as the olives that you bring.

I don’t have olives trees – but I know of a few around.  Can I pick them?

Gardens, particularly those planted by European migrants to the Bass Coast, often have olive trees.  However as the migrants have moved on their olive trees are often left unharvested.   You might also find some in local parks and street verges.  Even so – they may well be cared for by a nearby resident.  If you want to collect the olives on trees other than your own, and to avoid any upset, please register with us as a volunteer and you will be provided with some flyers to explain our event.  We may be contacted by home owners who need a hand picking their olives – so if you register with us we can put you in contact with them as well.

I have a commercial number of trees.  Can I use your press?

The intention is to provide the press for home gardeners – but as we are just starting we will probably have some excess capacity.  Get in contact with us to discuss your needs. 

For further information contact:
Liane 0408 055 767


80 West Area Rd,
Wonthaggi VIC 3995

Call Us

0408 721 949