Vodafone launches free New Zealand roaming

Vodafone launches free New Zealand roaming

Vodafone has abolished voice and data roaming charges for its Australian subscribers travelling to New Zealand, and other countries could follow in the radical 'free roaming' plan.

The jaw-dropper of a deal, which takes effect as of today for customers on all Vodafone Red plans – starting from the $30/month SIM-only package – means that trans-Tasman travellers can use data, make and take calls and swap text messages without paying any additional roaming fees.

'Roam like home'

Arrive in NZ, switch on your Vodafone mobile phone and it'll be no different to being in Australia, with your Aussie plan's full serve of data, voice and SMS allowance available for free.

This also includes free calls within New Zealand and back to Australia plus free text messaging worldwide.

If you happen to blast past your monthly data cap by watching too many sheep videos on YouTube, excess data is charged at the same 1c/MB rate as in Australia.

New Zealand is Australia's most popular international destination, with Aussies making 1.2 million trans-Tasman trips a year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Vodafone chose New Zealand for the launch of its revolutionary $5/day roaming plans in August 2013.

The scheme now covers over 50 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas, and easily bests the more expensive 'buy before you fly' add-ons of competitors Telstra and Optus.

NZ roaming: how the telcos compare

Telstra's New Zealand roaming plans start at $15 for a three day 'travel pass' with a measly 225MB and $35 for a seven-day pass with 525MB, with excess data charged at 3c/MB

Optus sells $10/day 'travel packs' for Kiwi roaming with unlimited calls and texts plus 50MB per day, plus 50c/MB for excess data.

By comparison, Vodafone's new NZ roaming arrangement costs you $0 and makes all of your plan's data, talk and text available for use.

More countries to follow with free roaming?

Vodafone will consider extending free roaming to other countries in its $5/day network, depending on the viability of what Vodafone terms its NZ 'experiment', which will run until until December 1st 2016.

Over the next 12 months Vodafone will monitor how much it's paying on behalf of customers roaming in New Zealand, against an uptick in subscribers eager to slash their roaming costs.

Vodafone also today announced a partnership with Qantas which will see selected mobile plans rebadged as Qantas Red plans and offered with up to 15,000 Qantas Points over the term of the contract.

Read: Qantas, Vodafone ink frequent flyer partnership

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Yusef Danet

    Yusef Danet

    1 Feb, 2016 09:16 am

    Good deal. Considering how much more NZ mobile plans cost (at least last time I looked) won't kiwis use this as their own domestic plan?

    No member give thanks

  • eminere


    1 Feb, 2016 09:21 am

    Does Vodafone not require an Australian residential address in order for you to sign up as an Australian customer?

    No member give thanks

  • MyBagsArePacked


    1 Feb, 2016 09:53 am

    That won't be possible as there's a limit of 90 days to the $5 Roaming (and presumably, by extension, to this free NZ offer).

    See the Terms and Conditions.

    No member give thanks

  • Mark


    1 Feb, 2016 10:41 am

    Let's hope Optus and Telstra follow there great lead. Roaming costs are the biggest con of all.

    No member give thanks

  • DB


    2 Feb, 2016 08:25 am

    Good on you Vodafone, that's awesome!!

    No member give thanks

  • John


    3 Feb, 2016 08:38 am

    i go to NZ reguarly and always use 2 degrees, they are reliable and cheap

    Their prepaid  Combo plan for $19 gives you 100 minutes of calling to NZ/Aus landlines, 500mb of data and unlimited text

    No member give thanks

  • Muchado


    3 Feb, 2016 11:24 am

    A sheep joke?   Who is still telling the same tired jokes from 50 years ago?  And as idiotic as it is, why would someone in NZ watch a sheep video?

    If you want to step outside of your comfort zone and tell a joke (obviously ot a strons suit of yours) at least say something original.


    No member give thanks


20 Jul, 2019 02:57 am


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