Traveling to Melbourne and looking for the best way to stay connected? This is your complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Australia on arrival at Melbourne International Airport. Find out where to buy a sim card, up to date prices as per May 2023, my recommendation, a vlog about my arrival and more info about international sim cards and e-sim cards for Australia.
Buying a prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when I get to a new country as it is the cheapest way to stay connected when traveling. No high roaming costs, big data bundles and the best 4G/5G network connection are reasons why I choose a local prepaid sim card over an international sim card.
As I also aspire to visit every country in the world you can already find more than 200 prepaid sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, Bangkok, Indonesia, Bali, USA, New York, Turkey, Qatar, Dubai, London, Europe, Asia and many more.
Traveltomtom recommends an Telstra prepaid sim card for traveling in Australia. They are more expensive than Optus and Vodafone but have much better 4G/5G network coverage in Australia. More about it in my complete guide for buying a sim card for Australia in 2023.
May you travel to multiple countries on your trip then it is worth looking into a travel sim card. Check out my article about the best world sim cards with data in 2023 and find the one that covers the countries of your trip.
That said, the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Australia in 2023 is an e-sim card.
Best e-sim cards for Australia
Arrange everything online within just 2 minutes. Order an e-sim card, receive a unique QR code, follow the instructions and you are all set in no time. An e-sim card is the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Australia.
Check out the following Australia e-sim card deals:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $9 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $12.5 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $20 USD
Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Australia.
The above e-sim cards are data-only and phone calls are not supported. The e-sim card supplier is Yes! Go! and they operate on the network of Optus in Australia. The validity period starts when the e-sim card connects its first time to a supported network.
On another website I found two more data-only e-sim card deals for Australia. They offer bigger data packages:
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
Click here to order this e-sim card for Australia.
Make sure that your phone is e-sim card compatible before ordering an e-sim card traveling to Melbourne.
A very modern and easy to navigate airport. International flights all arrival in Terminal 2 and when walking out you are greeted by huge letters saying MELBOURNE. There is only one exit into a spacious arrival hall. Melbourne Airport is not as busy as most airports in Asia, Europe and the USA.
Where to buy a sim card at Melbourne Airport
Buying a prepaid sim card for Australia on arrival at Melbourne Airport is very easy. There are 3 different stores and you can not miss them.
On your left hand side when walking into the arrival hall you will see Welcome Center. This store sells prepaid sim cards from Telstra and Boost. If you are Chinese or Vietnamese speaking this is your place to buy a sim card as they also offer services in these languages. The Welcome Center is NOT an official Telstra retail store, just a reseller.
The Welcome Center store is open from 06.00 am till 02.00 pm and from 5.30 pm till midnight.
On your right hand side you will find the official retail stores of Vodafone and Optus. These stores are both open from 6.30 am till 23.30 pm. All sim card shops at Melbourne Airport accept international credit cards payments.
If you arrive outside the opening hours there is also a vending machine for sim cards behind the Optus shop.
Prices Australia sim cards at Melbourne Airport
Mind you that prices and packages change constantly. Traveltomtom tries to keep this article as up to date as possible. New input in the comments below is always appreciated.
At the time of research in May 2023: $1 AUD = 0.67 USD and $1 USD is $1.50 AUD.
Buying a Boost sim card is only recommended when staying in Melbourne city. Their network is very limited outside the city and therefore not recommended for traveling in Australia.
- 40 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $30 AUD
- 55 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $40 AUD
- 140 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 365 days = $200 AUD
- 260 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 365 days = $300 AUD
A prepaid Telstra sim card is free when buying one of the below data packages:
- 30 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $30 AUD
- 40 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $40 AUD
- 200 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 365 days = $300 AUD
Telstra has the best 4G/5G network coverage in Australia.
At the Vodafone store they offer a wide range of prepaid sim cards for Australia:
- 4 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 7 days = $10 AUD
- 8 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $20 AUD
- 60 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $25 AUD
- 150 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 365 days = $150 AUD
Vodafone is the most flexible when it comes to picking the right data package for your trip to Australia. Some have international minutes included as well, see the photo above for more info.
At Optus they only offer 2 prepaid sim cards for tourists at Melbourne Airport. They offer a 4G and a 5G sim card deal:
- 60 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 30 days = $25 AUD - 4G only
- 60 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 30 days = $60 AUD - 5G where available
International minutes are also included to 35 different countries and unlimited international minutes to another 15 countries, see the photo above.
Best prepaid sim card Melbourne Airport
Traveltomtom always recommends buying a prepaid sim card from an official retail store and therefore the Welcome Center is not my first recommendation. However, for Chinese and Vietnamese speaking travelers this store could be more convenient for you.
Although Telstra has the strongest 4G coverage in Australia the prices for Telstra prepaid sim cards are also more expensive or at least you get less data for the same money.
If you really want 5G then Vodafone claims to offer 5G on all their data packages and Optus only gives you 5G when you pay double the price. Mind you that the 5G network in Australia is still pretty limited to the cities.
Vodafone has the widest range of prepaid sim cards and comparing Optus to Vodafone I would say that Vodafone has the best prepaid sim card deals for travers who either don’t stay in Australia for too long or those travelers that do not need many GB’s of data.
My conclusion for the best prepaid sim card for Australia at Melbourne Airport is an Optus prepaid sim card. They offer 60 GB data for $25 AUD which is about $16 USD only. The Optus 4G network coverage is stronger than the Vodafone network coverage and therefore best for traveling around Australia.
If you are interested watching a vlog about my experiences on arrival at Melbourne Airport then click below.
Buying a sim card for Australia online
Does the above sound like too much hassle, you want to arrive in Australia prepared or you simply want to order a sim card for Australia right now from the comfort of your couch then have a look at the following international sim card deals for Australia:
- 12 GB data for 30 days = $29.90 USD
- 12 GB data for 1 year = $59.90 USD
- 24 GB data for 2 years = $79.90 USD
All the above travel sim cards have data coverage in Australia. These pre-activated sim cards will be shipped to your home address before your trip and on arrival it is plug and play.
Click here to directly order one of the above sim card deals for Australia or find more offers and info in the link.
A last reminder that you can also arrange everything within just 2 minutes by buying an e-sim card for Australia directly online.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Australia were helpful for your upcoming trip to Melbourne. May you have any more questions than don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below and I will try to help you out.
Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of May 2023 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Australia!
Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage in case you decide to purchase something after clicking on the link. For you there is no difference, but I have the duty to inform you.