Last Updated: July 31, 2023

Best eSim For Australia in 2023 (Cheaper Mobile Internet)

Traveling to Australia and you need an eSim while you’re in the country? You’ve come to the right place then because this detailed guide will help you find the best eSim for Australia!


At A Glance: Our Top Esims For Australia


I’ve covered both local and international eSim providers and compared all the most popular options among travelers. There’s a perfect Australian eSim for you and you will undoubtedly find it in this guide.

ESIM Product Comparison


OUR FAVORITE

Airalo - Yes Go!

If you don’t need ridiculous amounts of data – and I won’t judge you if you do – Airalo is a great eSim option, especially for travelers on a budget. Their eSim packages start at $4.50 for 1 GB of data valid for a week and go up to $20 for an eSim with 10 GB of data that you can use for a whole month on the Optus network.

Here are some of the great options I have been using:

Buying and activating an Airalo eSim is super easy and can be done in just a couple of minutes. I used them for a few months during my last trip to Australia, and can’t only say great things about them.

The simplest way to work with an Airalo eSim is to download the Airalo app, select the country (Australia) andthen  eSim plan you want, and purchase it. Then scan the QR code displayed in the app to download your eSim, click on the notification and follow the on-screen instructions to activate it. Voila – your eSim is active and ready to use!

The main downside of Airalo is that they don’t offer any data packages larger than 10 GB, but I found that most of the time I was on wifi in accommodation, so only need a few Gigs a month for when I was moving around (maps, internet, email). Plus, once you run out, it is easy to renew it.

In my experience in Australia with eSims, I also found that Airalo sends you great reminders when your data or eSim validity is running out. That way, you won’t get caught without data!

Pros

  • Great prices
  • Lots of package options (Local, Regional, Global)
  • Great mobile networks
  • Helpful Customer Service

Cons

  • No unlimited Data
See Prices on Airalo - Yes Go!

Holafly Australia

Holafly is a reliable eSim provider that operates in many worldwide countries, including The Land Down Under. They offer two plans for Australia (Optus network)

You can purchase the eSIM online, and as soon as you pay for it you’ll get a QR code that lets you install the card. Setting up the eSim is easy and simple, and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

The main benefit of Holafly eSIMs is that they deliver instantaneously. If you’re in a pinch and you need an eSim like right now, this is the best option.

The main downside of Holafly is that their plans are pretty expensive, especially when compared to the Airalo plans. Also, they don’t allow data sharing, so you won’t be able to set up a mobile hotspot or tether with their eSim.

Pros

  • Two options for Australia
  • Good customer service
  • No Hotspot possible

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
See Prices on Holafly Australia

VERY AFFORDABLE PLANS

Nomad Australia

Nomad eSim is a popular option among frequent travelers and digital nomads. They operate in many countries all over the world, and they’re known for fair prices and fast internet.

Nomad offers three basic plans, which you can then upgrade with as much data as you want. Their basic plans include very little data, so they’re absolutely perfect for travelers who want to have internet access mostly to check map directions. On the other hand, Nomad allows you to purchase as much data as you like at good prices, so their plans can be perfectly suitable for people who need a bigger data package.

The basic plans they offer are

They also offer 15GB, 20GB, 30GB,  40GB, 50GB and 100 GB plans, with the 20GB being the cheapest at $ 0 .75 per GB with Vodaphone. The rest are usually with Optus which in my experience offer great coverage and service. I can’t comment on Vodaphone, but they are likely to be worse outside major metro areas.

You can purchase just one of these plans, or you can add on more data – it ranges from $5 for 1 GB to $22 for 20 GB.

After you purchase any one of the plans, Nomad provides you with detailed instructions on how to set up your new eSim.

Pros

  • 100 countries
  • Regional & Global Plans
  • Quite affordable

Cons

  • No local plans available
  • Plan length limit - 30 days
See Prices on Nomad Australia

KDDI AU

Au by KDDI is a Japanese mobile operator that offers eSims for global use. They have Australian eSims but keep in mind that this company is primarily intended for Japanese travelers abroad. Their plans are very expensive, especially considering the amount of data they offer, and I don’t recommend them to anyone who has at least one other option.

This provider offers only two plans – 5GB/30 days for $53.84 and 8GB/30 days for $82.62. That’s almost as expensive as using data roaming, so it makes no sense for international travelers in Australia.

However, their eSims are not valid only in Australia. Instead, one plan offers eSim coverage for dozens of countries in the world, which makes them a decent option for Japanese travelers who will be hopping to a few different countries during the month.

Pros

  • Two plans available for Australia
  • Ideal for Japanese visitors

Cons

  • Very Expensive
See Prices on KDDI AU

Ubigi

Ubigi is a global provider that offers eSims for Australia and New Zealand. Just like the Asian providers, Ubigi doesn’t let you buy an eSim only for Australia. Instead, you can choose if you want a plan that covers Australia and New Zealand, Oceania, or the entire globe. It’s a good option for tourists who will visit multiple countries in a month, but not for those who will spend all their time in Australia.

Ubigi’s eSim plans are also quite pricey for the amount of data they offer. They’re selling 1GB of data for $50 – at that point, you’re better off just turning data roaming on your phone.

They offer one-off and monthly plans, which range from 500 MB for a day to 5 GB for a month. The prices range from $12 to $68, and it’s important to note that these eSims offer global coverage.

Ubigi has just one plan for Australia and New Zealand specifically, and it’s 3GB/30 days for $39.

Pros

  • Specific Australia plans
  • Some more general plans

Cons

  • Very Expensive
See Prices on Ubigi

Travel SIM

TravelSim is a good option for travelers who rarely stay put in one place. They offer physical sim cards and eSim that are compatible with network carriers all over the world, so you can use just one eSim and have internet access in multiple countries.

To have internet with their eSim in Australia, you must choose either the International or the Asia plan. The Asia package is generally cheaper, so it’s the better option if you’re not going to leave the APAC region.

The good thing about TravelSim is that you can configure the eSim to fit your needs best. There’s a flat 5-Euro fee for the embedded sim, and then you can add up to credits for texts and data. Currently, you can add up to 25 Euros of credit for texts and calls, and up to 5 GB of data. That plan is 84 Euros, but it’s 59 Euros if you just buy the data. It’s pricey, but it works.

Pros

  • Very configurable
  • ESim & SIM options
  • Text & Calls available

Cons

  • Expensive
See Prices on Travel SIM

MTX Connect

MTX Connect is a global provider that offers both physical and eSIM cards that work in many worldwide countries. They’re a good option for people who travel frequently and need internet access in different countries. MTX Connect sim cards don’t have a phone number, but you can get an SMS number with their SMS subscription service.

This provider offers several different eSim plans, one of which should be good enough for you. So far they’re the only provider I’ve come across that offers a Pay as You Go Plan, which charges you only for the mobile data you’ve actually used. This is a good option if you rarely use the internet while you’re traveling, but not if you use mobile data frequently.

Their other plans include an optimal plan with 350 MB for 24 hours, 24-hour unlimited data plans, weekly, and monthly plans. The prices range from 3,49 Euros for a limited daily plan to 60 Euros for a limited monthly plan, so they’re fairly priced but certainly not the cheapest option.

Pros

  • Pay as you go
  • SMS Option
  • Unlimited Data options

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
  • A little confusing to choose an optoin
See Prices on MTX Connect

Benefits of Getting An eSim in Australia

I find that there are countless benefits to getting an eSim in Australia, especially for travelers and digital nomads who are staying in the country for a while. The main benefit is that you don’t have to buy a physical card, which can save you both time and money. Instead of having to walk around looking for a card with a good enough data plan, you can set up everything online.

I travel to Australia a lot to visit family and friends and often data is not available, or is not cheap, with my foreign plan. America, Canada, and Europe don’t seem to be a problem, but Australia is always excluded. So, getting an eSim before I land is a lifesaver. Especially since you need maps, Uber and Airbnb access once you arrive.

Reliable 4G Data (Not horrible Wifi)

Perhaps the key benefit of having an eSim in Australia (if you have a foreign sim) is easy access to an internet connection. It’s an Australian sim so you can use mobile data whenever you like, which is crucial for travel. The amount of mobile data you get depends on the eSim provider, and I’ll tell you about the best (and worst) ones a little later.

Access to the internet is particularly important if you still have to deal with data roaming when traveling. Data roaming charges are still as bad as they were a decade ago, and for most people, turning on data roaming is simply not an option.

I also find, even as an Australian, visiting Australia and dealing with unreliable internet is a big hassle. Not all Airbnbs or hotels have wifi. Or, if they do, it often sucks or costs you a fortune. It still blows my mind. And in many out-of-the-way places (which Australia has a lot of), it is even worse. However, 4G is usually great, and I have been using an eSim for the last month all over the country with very few issues.

Less Waste

There’s also less waste with eSims, or no waste to be precise. You just need to scan a QR code and it’s all set up. Compare that to the often ridiculous packaging of physical sim cards – all that paper and plastic waste can’t be good for the environment.

This is where an Australia eSim card comes in – instead of overpaying your provider at home for crumbs of data, you can get unlimited internet access for a month for as little as $20.

Devices Compatible with an eSim in Australia

eSim Phones

Is your smartphone compatible with an eSim? If you bought a flagship in the last 2-3 years, then it probably is. Compatibility with eSims is a feature reserved mostly for high-end phones, so if you’ve got a mid-range or budget smartphone, you’ll most likely need to look for a physical sim card.

For iPhones, anything manufactured after 2018 supports an eSim. This includes the Apple iPhone SE 2020, as well as the mini versions of the later iPhones.

But just because you have a flagship doesn’t guarantee you’re holding one of the eSim-compatible phones, especially in Australia. It depends on where your phone was produced – some smartphones produced in China, Hong Kong, and the USA are not at all compatible with eSims.

The easiest way of checking whether your personal phone has eSim technology enabled is to dial *#06#. This will bring up a menu with your phone’s unique identifiers and if you can see an EID ((Embedded Identity Document) number, it means your phone is compatible with eSims.

You can also go to Settings – About – Status Information to see if your phone has an EID number. This should work on both iPhone and Android phones.

Also, it’s important that your cell phone is unlocked, if you want to use it with an eSim. This means that any phones purchased through a mobile carrier are likely not compatible with eSims, because they are locked to sim cards from that carrier only.

Local Mobile Operators Offering eSims in Australia

Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are the three mobile operators that offer eSims in Australia. These are the only three operators that offer network coverage in the country, and all the other providers use their network.

Choosing the right network operator is essential for a smooth experience with an eSim in Australia. Telstra is the largest carrier in the country, mostly because it’s the only carrier that covers rural areas. If you’re planning to travel in the outback, Telstra – or an eSim that uses their network – is by far the best option.

On the other hand, if you will spend most of your time traveling in big cities and populated areas, either one of these three is good enough. Optus and Vodafone are not too far behind Telstra, especially in the bigger cities. But for rural areas deep inside the country, there’s only one good network provider.

Data Needed When Traveling to Australia

The best eSim for you is the one that includes a data plan that can last your entire trip. For some people, that can be as little as 5 GB, while others might consider only unlimited data options.

It depends on how much you use the internet while traveling and what you use it for. If it’s just to look at directions on Google Maps and check your social media every now and then, you should be fine with one of the smaller data plans. But, it also depends on how long you’re staying – 5 GBs might be fine for a week, but if you’re staying for a month you’ll probably need more data.

If you’re going to use the mobile data to play games, watch Netflix and Youtube, or work, look for providers that offer bigger data plans.

When choosing a mobile provider for an eSim, it’s also important to consider internet speed. While it won’t matter too much if you just use the internet for directions, people who plan to use mobile data for work will need a fast and reliable internet connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I activate my Australia eSim?

Activating your eSim in Australia depends on the provider. Some will email you a QR code that you need to scan to activate your eSim, while others might require you to visit a physical store to scan that QR code. For maximum convenience, stick with providers that make it easy to activate your eSim without having to move from your couch.

When you buy an eSim, you should get an email with a QR code. Go to Settings and find the Add a Cellular Plan / Add an eSim option, and scan that QR code. You’ll just need to set up a few different options for the eSim and then it’s ready for use.

How can I buy an eSim in Australia?

You can buy eSims in Australia in both physical stores and online. You can also activate most eSims without having to visit a physical store, so setting up an eSim in Australia is super simple and can be done in just a few minutes.

Can I tether using my Australia eSim?

You can tether with most eSim cards purchased in Australia. The eSim should function just as a regular sim card, so setting up tethering or a mobile hotspot should be just as easy and simple as doing it with a physical card.

If this is very important to you, be sure to check whether the eSim provider allows tethering and mobile hotspot. Not all providers allow data sharing, and this is indicated in the technical specs of each eSim card.

Do eSim cards expire?

Yes, eSims usually expire after a specific period of time, like a month once they are activated. Although technically the eSim won’t expire, but the data plan will and you will lose access to your eSim, or you will have to add more data. You can just repurchase the same data plan if you want to use your eSim for more than a month – as long as you keep paying for the data, your eSim won’t expire.

Most providers in Australia offer month-long data plans. Some offer annual plans, but that only makes sense if you’re certain you’ll be staying down under for a long time.