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Australian Grown – Where your Essential Oils Come From.

August 29, 2018

Here is a map that I’ve put together to give you a bit of an idea of what grows where. With all of New South Wales in drought at the moment I thought it would be a good idea to have a look and see if I could predict which oils might run in short supply as a result of that but actually it’s surprisingly hard and after all that reading I honestly haven’t a clue!  What I did find out though is that baby trees, say the Eucalypts or myrtles, do very badly when planted in a drought (not surprising) and so what might happen is that farmers looking to expand by planting more crops might have to wait until a better time when there is more water.  Another thing I know from my time with the lavender and Tea Tree growers is that drought does put plants under stress and so oil profiles might change slightly during this time.  Any change in oil chemistry will affect the smell so it might be that NSW grown oils will smell different to before thanks to the drought.

Anyway, here’s the map.

I sourced the data from various RIRDC  RIRDC  (Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation) data, the Essential Oil Producers Association of Australia  , the Citrus growers of Australia, Ginger growers, ATTIA (Tea Tree) and a few other such places. I did try to pinpoint the farms exactly in my first map iteration then I thought ‘stuff that’ as it was a bit tricky, things grow all over the place and nobody really knows what’s where in Australia anyway.

Australian Grown Essential Oils

Basically like most agriculture the growing hugs the area around the coast and just inland from that (mostly).  The inland of Australia is always dry so not much grows so while we have a big country it’s mostly uninhabitable or can only support low population densities.

Soil around the north of NSW and up the coast of Queensland is very good as parts of it are volcanic. The area around Byron Bay (northern NSW) is particularly good for Essential Oil plantation visiting, Koala spotting and general bumming around.

Do remember that while some of the crops grown in Australia are pretty sizeable, others are teeny tiny such as the Rose Damask industry in Victoria. That’s pretty small.  Also note that just because essential oils are ‘grown’ in a spot it doesn’t mean they are distilled there. Distilleries can be on or off farm. Also there are crops that are grown for multi-purposes such as citrus so just because a farm grows oranges it doesn’t necessarily follow that they produce orange essential oil.

One day I want to go explore all of those farms and maybe even grow a bit more essential oil myself. Currently I’m growing a couple of types of Eucalyptus and plan to grow a few more things as long as the weather is kind and I can get them planted.


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