Need an eSim for a New Zealand trip? Then you’ve come to the right place because this detailed guide explores all your best options for eSims in New Zealand!
Whether you need just a couple of GB of mobile data for a short trip, or you’re looking for an eSim with the functionality of a physical sim card, you’ll find everything you need to know about New Zealand eSims right here. Keep reading to find out what your options are when it comes to an eSim for New Zealand!
Airalo is one of the best and most popular international eSim providers because they offer the cheapest data packages. Their cheapest mobile data plan for New Zealand is just $4.5, and it will get you 1 GB of data that you can use over a week. Airalo offers six data plans total, and the largest one includes 20 GB of data to be used over a month, for $44.
You can purchase an Airalo eSim either through the website or through the Airalo app. The app is generally the better option for new customers since you will have access to your eSim directly in the app.
Also, Airalo lets you access the Internet on the One NZ network (formerly Vodafone), which has good network coverage in urban areas, but not the best coverage in the more remote regions.
Nomad is a great option for prepaid customers because it’s so easy to top off your plan once you’ve spent all the included data. They offer 15 different data plans for New Zealand, which range from a 1GB plan to a 100 GB plan. Whether you’re staying in the country for a few days, or for several months, this provider has an option for you.
It’s important to note that Nomad offers data plans for two different providers – Truphone and TNZ. Plans for Truphone are more expensive than TNZ data plans, plus if you want more than 20 GB of data, you can only purchase a TNZ plan.
The Truphone plans are valid longer than the TNZ plans, at least the ones that include less data. The 1 GB plan with Truphone costs $8 and is valid for a week, while the equivalent TNZ plan costs $4 but is only valid for three days.
Holafly is an international eSim provider known for offering unlimited data plans. However, they do not offer unlimited plans for New Zealand, which is a big downside. They only have two data plans for this country; both are valid for 30 days, and you essentially choose whether you want 10 GB or 20 GB of mobile data.
Holafly eSims do not include a phone number and they don’t allow data sharing, meaning you won’t be able to create a hotspot. That’s a huge downside, especially because other providers usually don’t impose such limits on the use of their eSims.
Another issue with the Holafly New Zealand eSim is that they provide you with access to 3G and LTE, whereas other providers like Nomad and Airalo offer 4G mobile data access.
I wouldn’t recommend Holafly as your eSim provider in New Zealand, simply because they don’t have a good offer. Airalo and Nomad offer faster speeds and the same amount of data for less money, plus they let you share the Internet connection.
Ubigi is another popular international eSim provider and they offer a total of seven plans for New Zealand. The cheapest plan they offer is $12 for 500 MB of data that is valid for 1 day, which doesn’t sound like a good option to me. If you want 3 GB of data you’ll have to pay $24 for it, but you’ll be able to use it throughout an entire month.
The only upside of Ubigi is that they offer plans that cover both Australia and New Zealand, which makes them a decent option if you’re considering traveling to both countries. However, it’s $39 for a 3GB monthly plan for both countries, which is far from good value for money. You’re better off purchasing 1 GB plans from other providers that have much more affordable data plans.
An MTX Connect eSim is an excellent option for frequent travelers. This provider sells just one eSim with coverage in many countries all over the world, New Zealand included. If you travel often and you could benefit from having an eSim you can use virtually anywhere, definitely consider getting an MTX eSim.
Perhaps the best thing about this provider is that they have a Pay As You Go Plan. You pay 10 Euros for eSim, and you can spend them at a rate of 0.012 Euros per MB, so you get approximately 833 MB. You can then top off the plan with as much as you want.
The other two plans include unlimited data for 24 hours for 15 Euros, and 2 GB for two weeks for 20 Euros. They’re certainly not one of the most affordable eSim providers, but they are a good option if you need Internet access in multiple countries.
The bigger cities in New Zealand have quite a few free WiFi spots throughout them, but you will need mobile data if you want to have Internet access all the time. Especially if you plan to explore the regions that are outside the bigger cities since the WiFi coverage in those places is pretty scarce.
Always having Internet access at your fingertips is the main benefit of getting a New Zealand eSim. You can check directions on maps whenever you want, use social media, send emails, and do whatever else you want to do with the Internet.
The main downside of eSims for New Zealand is that most of them don’t include a local phone number, so you won’t be able to send/receive texts or make phone calls. But you will still have access to your regular phone number and you can use WhatsApp or a similar service for all of those.
Also, if you want a sim card with a phone number, you should look into providers that offer physical sim cards, if your phone still supports one. Those come with (un)limited mobile data and a phone number, and you can use them just like regular sim cards.
Spark was the first network operator to start offering eSims in New Zealand. However, they only offer these to government and corporate customers, and it’s currently still not available for regular customers to purchase eSim mobile plans from Spark.
The operator does have a few different travel packages for tourists, but they only include a physical sim card. The upside is that you’ll get the phone number, but the downside is that you have no use for this if your phone doesn’t support physical sim cards.
Vodafone also offers eSims, but only for postpaid monthly plans. It’s not possible to purchase a prepaid eSim from them; however, they offer travel sim cards for tourists that include a phone number plus some free texts and minutes, as well as up to 100 GB of mobile data, depending on the plan.
It’s worth noting that Vodafone’s tourist sim cards can be used in other countries in addition to New Zealand.
2degrees is another network provider in New Zealand that offers eSims to all of its customers. They even offer eSims for prepaid plans, but the catch is that you can’t purchase an eSim online. I’m not sure if you have to purchase a prepaid plan first and then go to a shop to set up an eSim, or if you can just walk into a shop and set up everything on the spot.
But this might be the best option for travelers because 2degrees has the best coverage in the more remote areas of New Zealand so you’ll be able to stay connected no matter where you are.
Also, this provider makes it super easy to purchase more data once you’ve spent everything originally included in the plan, and you can do so online.
All the devices that support eSims will be compatible with eSims in New Zealand. This includes all iPhones and some Androids released in the past three-four years. All iPhones since the XS (including the XS) support eSims, while for Androids the feature is still found mostly on flagship smartphones.
Google, Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, and others have included eSim compatibility in their devices, but like to reserve the feature for their most expensive phones. In any case, you can dial *#06# to check if your phone supports embedded sim cards. When you press call, you’ll get a list with multiple ID numbers; if you see an EID number, it means that your smartphone is compatible with eSims.
Not sure how much data you need when traveling to New Zealand? Consider how long you’re staying and what you want to use the mobile data for. If you’re staying in the country for a short period (a week or less), and you only need the data to check maps for directions and social media, you should be fine with a few Gigabytes.
I sometimes go through an entire month and use 2-4 GB of data, even though I have mobile data turned on constantly, and often use it at home instead of WiFi.
On the other hand, if you’re staying in the country longer, or you want to use the Internet like you do at home (watch videos, download music, or even work), you should look for plans with a larger data allowance.
Unlimited data plans are also worth considering, just keep in mind that they don’t always let you create a hotspot, so they’re not the best option if you’re going to use the eSim on your phone but want to work on your laptop.
Yes, you can get an eSim in New Zealand. It should be possible to purchase a prepaid New Zealand eSim from 2degrees, the network operator with the widest coverage in the country. Alternatively, you can purchase an eSim online from one of the several international providers.
You can buy an eSim in New Zealand from one of the several international eSim providers, or from one local provider. 2degrees is the local network operator that sells eSims to prepaid customers, and you should be able to buy one if you walk into their store and ask for one.
You can activate your eSim in New Zealand by turning on mobile data and browsing the Internet, provided you’ve already added the eSim either with the QR code or manually through the network settings.
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Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.