New Zealand is Australia’s most popular international destination, with over one million trans-Tasman trips made every year – so what's the best way to keep in touch across the pond?
Vodafone Australia subscribers enjoy free roaming in New Zealand under a radical twist to the carrier's 'Roam like home' scheme, while Optus and Telstra rely on cost-extra travel packs starting at $10 per day for 50MB of data (Optus) or $15 for three days with 225MB (Telstra).
Those roaming fees can be bearable on short trips where you'll be staying in the cities and can make the most of free WiFi – as well as still being contactable on your Aussie number, of course.
But for longer visits to The Land of the Long White Cloud, a local pre-paid SIM can be your best bet.
We've surveyed the scene and rate Vodafone NZ’s raft of pre-paid deals for your visit to Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and beyond.
The carrier's NZ Travel SIM can be purchased from Vodafone New Zealand on arrival at the airport – not from Vodafone Australia before you depart – with the entry-level pack costing NZ$29 (A$25.60).
You’ll get 500MB of 4G data plus 200 minutes of calls to numbers in New Zealand, Australia and 15 other countries and 200 text messages to the same, all to use within 30 days.
Need more data? The NZ$49 (A$43.43) pack gives you 3GB of data along with the same call and SMS inclusions with a 60-day expiry.
Vodafone New Zealand has some other appealing options beyond its travel line-up, such as pre-paid deals aimed at its home NZ market but still available to Aussies and other foreigners.
For example, the ‘Prepay Carry Over $29’ plan delivers 1GB of 4G data, 200 minutes of calls to Australian and New Zealand numbers and unlimited SMS to the same for use within 30 days.
That makes it a better deal than the $29 Travel SIM if your calls will be limited to Australia and New Zealand, and it makes more sense for regular visitors to NZ.
It’s a little fiddly to arrange as you first need to load regular pre-paid credit onto your account and then activate the plan which is deducted from that credit, but for longer stays where you’ll want to carry over any unused inclusions, it’s definitely worth the extra effort.
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About Chris Chamberlin
Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!