Traveling to Australia and looking for the best way to stay connected? If you are flying to Sydney then here is your complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Australia at Sydney International Airport.
Get to know where to buy a sim card at Sydney Airport, up to date prices as per January 2024, my recommendation, the best e-sim cards for Australia, a vlog about my experiences, more info about international sim cards for Australia and everything else you need to know.
Wherever I go I either order an e-sim card or I buy a local prepaid sim card on arrival to stay connected. It make life much easier to have data on your phone and traveling much more fun.
Forget about high roaming costs and slow overseas data roaming plans, buying a prepaid sim card at Sydney Airport is easy. However, ordering an e-sim card for Australia on the internet is even easier.
On Traveltomtom you can already find more than 200 prepaid sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world. This is because I try to visit every country in the world and I write a sim card guide everywhere I go: Asia, Europe, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Malaysia, South Africa, USA, Miami, New York, Istanbul, Qatar, Dubai, London and many more.
Traveltomtom also wrote a complete guide for the best prepaid tourist sim card for Australia in 2024 or for those looking for e-sims check out my comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Australia in 2024.
Traveltomtom recommends buying an Optus prepaid sim card at Sydney Airport from the official retail store near Arrivals A. If you are traveling to more remote areas in Australia then opt for a Telstra sim card.
Why? Check out my complete guide for buying a prepaid sim card for Australia in 2024 to see why Telstra is the best prepaid sim card for Australia.
However, if you are just visiting Sydney and some of the cool places to visit around the city then an Optus sim card is perfectly fine.
Traveltomtom definitely recommends e-sim cards for Australia since they are so easy to get online and you arrive prepared. E-sim cards for Australia already start from $4.5 USD and for $12 USD you already get 5 GB data. Check out my guide for the best e-sim cards for Australia in 2024.
If you travel to multiple countries on your trip to the Pacific then have a look at my article with the best international travel sim cards with data in 2024. These world sim cards let you connect to the data network in multiple countries.
Best e-sim cards for Australia
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Australia in 2024 is an e-sim card. Within just a couple minutes you can arrange everything online.
You order an e-sim card for Australia on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have an Australia e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Australia.
If this raises a lot of questions then check out my complete guide with everything you need to know about using e-sim cards when traveling to Australia in 2024, including a comparison of the best available tourist e-sim cards.
There are many e-sim providers on the internet, below you can find my recommendations. All trusted, tested and reviewed by Traveltomtom personally.
Check out the Airalo e-sim card deals for Australia in 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $8 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
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $40 USD
Click here for more info or to directly order an e-sim cards for Australia via Airalo.
The above e-sim cards from Yes! Go! are data-only and phone calls are not supported. They operate on the 4G/LTE network of Optus in Australia.
SimOptions is another trusted e-sim card provider. They sell international e-sim cards that are valid in up to 130 countries around the world.
Here are the international e-sim card plans from SimOptions for 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.90 USD
- 6 GB data for 10 days = $17.90 USD
SimOptions also sells the e-sim cards from Three HK that are valid in Australia as well.
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
A third trusted e-sim card provider is Nomad and they offer also e-sim card plans for Australia. Here are the Nomad 4G/LTE e-sim card plans for 2024:
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $10 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $12 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $19 USD
- 15 GB data for 30 days = $25 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $30 USD
Nomad also offers 5G ready e-sim cards for Australia.
- 30 GB data for 30 days = $80 USD
- 40 GB data for 30 days = $110 USD
- 50 GB data for 30 days = $125 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Australia from Nomad.
Before ordering an e-sim card for Australia make sure your phone is e-sim card compatible. How to find out? Ask Google and find your answer instantly.
Check the link for a much more detailed guide including a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to Australia in 2024 and an answer to all your FAQ about using e-sim cards.
Arriving at Sydney Airport
There are 2 international arrivals at Sydney International Airport: A and B. They are located on the ground floor. Sydney Airport is not as busy as the major airports in Asia, Europe or the USA and easy to navigate. After passport control you will get to the Luggage Claim. When you pick up your bags you will have to pass through customs bag check and then finally you walk into the Arrival Hall.
Arrivals A and B are just a short 1-minute walk away from each other. It doesn’t matter where you are arrive there are plenty of options for buying a prepaid sim card.
Where to buy a sim card at Sydney Airport
Honestly I have never been to an airport where it is so easy to buy a prepaid sim card. Regardless where you arrive A or B there are more than a handful shops that sell prepaid sim cards. In total there are more than 10 shops across Arrival A and B that sell sim cards.
Buying a sim card at Sydney Airport is therefore very easy, but finding the best sim card deal is a little overwhelming.
There are several Sim Planet stores, a Lebara store in the WH Smith shop, official Vodafone and Optus retail stores and some random sim card shops that sell a wide variety of Australian sim cards for tourists.
Most of the sim card stores are open from 06.00 am until 10.00 pm and accept payments by international credit cards.
Prices Australia sim cards at Melbourne Airport
Sim card prices and data packages constantly change. Traveltomtom tries to keep this article as up to date as possible. New input in the comments below is always appreciated. Thank you!
At the time of research in January 2024: $1 AUD = 0.68 USD and $1 USD is $1.46 AUD
Sim Planet is a reseller and therefore they offer sim cards from Vodafone, Optus, Crown Mobile, etc.
Their main products are a Vodafone or Optus prepaid sim card for $25 AUD ($17 USD) with $60 AUD and unlimited calling and texting in Australia included.
When I asked the friendly girl what she would recommend she said they are both the same. Well let me tell you that is not completely true!
Vodafone prepaid sim cards say that where available you can use 5G. However, with this Optus prepaid sim card deal you can only use 4G. That said, Optus has a much larger 4G/5G network in Australia compared to Vodafone.
This is not the official name of the shop that has a red/white striped counter. It is right in front of you when walking out of Arrivals B, but it has no name. Here you can buy Lycamobile prepaid sim cards as well as a wide range of postpaid plans for those interested.
Lycamobile prepaid sim card deals:
- 70 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $30 AUD - $20.5 USD
- 100 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $40 AUD
- 160 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $50 AUD - $34 USD
Lycamobile is also an MVNO and they operate on the 3G and 4G network of Telstra in Australia.
They also have a lot of postpaid plans, but they also have postpaid plans for Australia at the Vodafone and Optus store.
In the WH Smith shop near Arrivals B there is a Lebara store and they sell a wide range of prepaid sim cards for Australia.
Lebara is also an MVNO and they operate on the network of Vodafone in Australia. They offer the following data plans at Sydney Airport:
- 8 GB data + unlimited calls/text = $14.90 AUD - $10 USD
- 25 GB data + unlimited calls/text = $24.90 AUD
- 60 GB data + unlimited calls/text = $29.90 AUD - $20 USD
- 80 GB data + unlimited calls/text = $39.90 AUD
- 100 GB data + unlimited calls/text = $49.90 AUD
- 120 GB data + unlimited calls/text = $69.90 AUD - $48 USD
There are also some international calls included but they differ per package. See the photo above for more information.
Official Vodafone retail store
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 - $7 USD
- 8 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 14 days = $20 AUD
- 60 GB data + unlimited calls/text for 28 days = $30 AUD - $21 USD
- 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.
Official Optus retail store
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 sim card Sydney Airport
There is a lot to say when comparing all these Australian prepaid sim cards but many plans and data packages look alike.
Personally I always buy a sim card from an official retail store rather than from a reseller and I also prefer to use a mobile internet operator rather than an MVNO like Lycamobile, Lebara, etc. These MVNO’s use the network of one of the official mobile internet providers.
As many prepaid sim card deals look similar let’s also have a quick look at the mobile network coverage. If we compare the 4G/5G network coverage in Australia of the mobile internet providers it shows that Optus and Telstra have a better 4G/5G network than Vodafone.
Taking all the above into account Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that Optus is the best prepaid sim card at Sydney Airport. They have the best prepaid sim card deal: 60 GB data for $25 AUD ($17 USD) and they have a great 4G/5G network coverage.
For a city trip to Sydney an Optus sim card is a great choice. But as soon as you start traveling around Australia Traveltomtom recommends a Telstra prepaid sim card, because Telstra has much better 4G/5G mobile data network coverage in Australia. For more details check my comparison of the best prepaid sim cards in Australia in 2024.
And what about e-sim cards? Well, e-sim cards are definitely recommended especially for people that visit Sydney. You can already get e-sim cards for Australia from just $4.5 USD via Airalo or an e-sim card with 5 GB data for just $12 USD. Traveltomtom recommends ordering e-sim cards for Australia via either SimOptions, Airalo or Nomad.
Or check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know before ordering an e-sim card for Australia in 2024.
Order a prepaid sim card for Australia online
Is your phone not e-sim compatible, but you would like to arrive prepared and order a physical prepaid sim card for Australia on the internet then check out the following...
Buy ordering an international prepaid sim card for Australia online you save yourself the hassle of buying a sim card on arrival at Brisbane Airport.
These are pre-activated physical travel sim cards and will be delivered to your home address. They automatically activate from its first use. So it is plug and play when you land in Australia.
See the following international prepaid sim card deals from SimOptions:
1. Three Data Pack - $24.90 USD
- 10 GB data-only
- Valid 30 days
- Valid in 56 countries
- Incoming/outgoing calls not supported
2. Orange Holiday World - $49.90 USD
- 10 GB data-only
- Valid 14 days
- Valid in124 countries
- Incoming/outgoing calls not supported
- Data allowance varies per country
Also a last reminder that you can arrange everything online within just a couple clicks by ordering an e-sim card for Australia. Traveltomtom recommends ordering an e-sim card for Australia via either SimOptions, Airalo or Nomad.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card for Australia were helpful for your upcoming trip to Melbourne. If you have any more questions then 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 January 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.
Enjoy your trip to Australia!
Some links in this article about the best sim cards at Sydney Airport are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage in case you decide to purchase something after clicking on an affiliate link. This is at absolutely no extra costs to you!