Perfect conditions have Christmas coming early for fruit growers

Fruit growers across New Zealand are celebrating one of the best harvests in decades. 

Central Otago cherry crops are ready a fortnight earlier this year, with growers predicting record yields. 

Cherry growers are putting the early ripening down to a mild winter, followed by near-perfect hot, dry spring conditions.

The perfect conditions haven't just benefitted cherries either. In Ettrick, near Alexandra, the strawberry patches are delivering an early abundance of ripe fruit.

Fruit grower Heather Preedy says this is the earliest she's ever started picking - if only by a day. 

"This would be the earliest season we've had, we started picking on November 3... the earliest we'd ever done in 37 years was November 4."

That's great news for berry and cherry lovers, who won't have to wait until Christmas to enjoy their favourite fruit.