Are you planning your trip to New Zealand, flying to Auckland and wondering if you can buy a prepaid sim card on arrival at Auckland Airport?
In this guide you can read everything about buying a sim card for New Zealand at Auckland International Airport. Where to buy a prepaid sim card, up to date prices as per January 2024, my recommendation, a vlog about my arrival and even information about international and e-sim cards for New Zealand.
If I don't have an e-sim card yet then the first thing I do when I arrive in a new country is looking to buy a prepaid sim card to stay connected. Life is just much easier and traveling much more fun with a working data connection on your phone.
On top of that it avoids high roaming costs and you don’t need to struggle with slow overseas data roaming plans.
Traveltomtom is also on a mission to travel to every country in the world and since I like to document what is the best way to get connected you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Asia, Indonesia, Bali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangkok, Europe, London, Paris, USA, New York, Canada and many more.
Traveltomtom also wrote a complete guide with everything you need to know about using an e-sim card when traveling to New Zealand as well as a guide for the best prepaid sim card for New Zealand in 2024.
So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Traveltomtom recommends buying a Spark sim card at Auckland Airport just before immigration in the duty free area. It is the cheapest place to buy your sim card for New Zealand because it is tax-free. You save a couple dollar compared to when you buy a sim card in the arrival hall.
But if you really want the best sim card for New Zealand then get yourself an e-sim card for New Zealand on the internet. E-sim cards for New Zeland are much cheaper than buying a sim card at Auckland Airport.
If you are traveling to multiple countries in the pacific for example to Australia and New Zealand then you might want to check into an international sim card for traveling. Click on the link to see my comparison of the best travel sim cards in 2024.
Best e-sim cards for New Zealand
E-sim cards are the easiest way to stay connected when traveling to New Zealand in 2024. But keep in mind they only work in e-sim compatible phones. Surprisingly e-sim cards for New Zealand are cheaper than buying a local prepaid sim card in New Zealand.
No more swapping physical sim cards or visiting a phone shop.
You order an e-sim card for New Zealand on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a New Zealand 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 New Zealand.
For all your FAQ's about using e-sim cards check out my guide with a comparison of the best e-sim cards for New Zealand in 2024.
There are a couple e-sim card providers that offer tourist e-sims for New Zealand.
Airalo is a trusted e-sim card provider and they have the following New Zealand e-sim card plans.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4.5 USD
- 2 GB data for 15 days = $8.5 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $16 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $27 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $44 USD
Click here to order a New Zealand e-sim card via Airalo.
The Airalo e-sim cards are from Nzcom and they operate on the 4G/LTE network of One NZ. These e-sim cards are data-only and only valid in New Zealand.
SimOptions is another trusted e-sim card provider. They sell international e-sim cards that are valid 6 countries around the world.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.9 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
The SimOptions e-sim cards are also data-only and 5G is not supported, only 4G/LTE.
A third trusted e-sim card provider is Nomad and they offer also e-sim card plans for New Zealand.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $4 USD
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $11 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $13 USD
- 10 GB data for 30 days = $20 USD
- 15 GB data for 30 days = $24 USD
- 20 GB data for 30 days = $30 USD
- 30 GB data for 30 days = $60 USD
- 40 GB data for 30 days = $75 USD
- 50 GB data for 30 days = $90 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for New Zealand through Nomad.
The Nomad e-sim cards are from Joytel and they operate on the 4G/LTE network of Spark. The Nomad e-sim cards are also data-only.
Before ordering an e-sim card make sure your phone is unlocked and e-sim compatible otherwise an e-sim card won’t work on your phone.
For a more detailed comparison of the best e-sim cards for New Zealand click on the link for my guide, including all FAQ’s about e-sim cards.
Arrival at Auckland International Airport
Arrivals in New Zealand at Auckland International Airport are pretty smooth. Once you leave the plane you will be directed through the duty free area. Right at the end of the duty free there is a sim card store, more about it later.
Passport control goes pretty fast, definitely if your passport allows you to go through one of the electronic gates. Then you take the escalator down into the baggage claim hall. Here you can find a money exchange and an ATM.
The only pain could be the customs baggage check, which sometimes can take a while, especially if you have something to declare. After you pass through this check you walk into a small and fairly busy arrival hall. On your right hand side you see all car rental companies and on your left hand side you see a Mc Donalds.
Auckland Airport is pretty small and the Arrivals and Departures are next to each other in the same building and on the same floor. It is very easy to navigate Auckland International Airport.
Where to buy a sim card at Auckland Airport
There are 4 places to buy a prepaid sim card for New Zealand when landing at Auckland Airport. As I mentioned briefly the first opportunity is the Spark store in the duty free area, even before you get your passport stamped.
You have to act immediately because once you go through immigration, you can’t return to the duty free area.
When you walk into the arrival hall there are 3 stores for buying a sim card. On your left hand side opposite the Mc Donalds you will see an official retail store of Spark and One (former Vodafone). It is impossible to miss the stores.
Then there is also a Relay bookstore which is right in front of you when walking into the arrival hall.
Prices New Zealand prepaid sim cards at Auckland Airport
Prepaid sim card prices and packages constantly change. Traveltomtom does everything in its power to keep information as up to date as possible. Your help is very much appreciated. Please leave me a comment below with the newest updates and lets help fellow travelers visiting New Zealand.
As of January 2024: $1 NZD = $0.63 USD and $1 USD = $1.58 NZD.
Unfortunately there are still no e-sim cards available. At Auckland airport they only sell physical prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Tax Free store Spark
As mentioned before you can get your prepaid sim card for New Zealand straight after arrival even before you get stamped into New Zealand and that even tax free.
- 2 GB data + 200 minutes + 200 sms = $25 NZD - $16 USD
- 10 GB data + 200 minutes + 200 sms = $42 NZD
- 50 GB data + unlimited minutes & sms = $68 NZD - $43 USD
- Unlimited data* + unlimited minutes & sms = $112 NZD
*Data speed reduced after 100 GB
All plans are valid for 3 months and come with international minutes to some destinations. They only offer physical prepaid sim cards for tourists, no e-sims available.
Spark Arrival Hall
The Spark store in the arrival hall offers the exact same packages, but they are a couple dollars more expensive as it is including VAT. Also these plans come with international minutes and are valid for 3 months.
- 2 GB data + 200 minutes + 200 sms = $29 NZD - $18 USD
- 10 GB data + 200 minutes + 200 sms = $49 NZD
- 50 GB data + unlimited minutes & sms = $79 NZD - $50 USD
- Unlimited data* + unlimited minutes & sms = $129 NZD
*Data speed reduced after 100 GB.
One (former Vodafone) Arrival Hall
As of the beginning of 2023 Voafone New Zealand rebranded to One NZ. ‘Coincidentally’ One prepaid sim cards cost almost the exact same! Here are the available data packages:
- 2 GB data + 200 minutes + 200 sms - valid for 30 days = $29 NZD - $18 USD
- 10 GB data + unlimited minutes & sms - valid for 60 days = $49 NZD
- 40 GB data + unlimited minutes & sms - valid for 60 days = $69 NZD - $44 USD
Also One New Zealand offers international minutes to selected destinations, see the photo above.
The Relay bookstore only offers One prepaid sim cards for tourists. Personally, there is no reason to buy your One prepaid sim card here when you can buy it from the official store just 30 meters on your left hand side.
The One sim card deals at the Relay store are the exact same as in the official retail store. The only thing I could think of is if you arrive very early or very late and the One and Spark stores are closed. Then Relay is your only option to buy a sim card for New Zealand on arrival at Auckland Airport.
Best sim card at Auckland Airport
As you can see from the above comparison between the One and the Spark prepaid sim card deals for New Zealand there is not much difference. Prices are basically the same.
To find the best prepaid sim card for New Zealand I also compared the 4G/5G network coverage of One and Spark and came to the conclusion that even the network coverage is more or less the same for both providers. Check out Traveltomtom's guide for the best prepaid sim card for tourists in New Zealand in 2024 for more info about the mobile data network coverage.
In that guide you will also find out that the best and cheapest way to get connected is actually an e-sim card. You can buy e-sim cards for New Zealand on the internet that give you more Gigabytes for less money. What about 15 GB data for just $25 USD. That is a cheaper sim card deal than you can find at Auckland Airport.
For more detailed info check out my guide with a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to New Zealand in 2024.
The only difference is that Spark offers data plans for 3 months and the One prepaid sim card plans are valid for 1 or 2 months. I am sure most tourists stay less than a month in New Zealand anyway, but yeah that is the main difference between a One and a Spark sim card.
However, if you are looking for the cheapest prepaid sim card at Auckland International Airport then you have to buy your prepaid sim card from the Spark store just before immigration. Here you get the same prepaid sim card deals for New Zealand but then tax free! That way you save a couple bucks on getting connected in New Zealand.
To make it all easy for you here is what it looked like when I arrived in New Zealand, watch my vlog about buying a sim card for New Zealand at Auckland Airport below.
Order a prepaid sim card for New Zealand online
If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can still order an international prepaid sim card for traveling in New Zealand on the internet. These sim cards are valid in multiple countries around the world. After you ordered online, a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address before your trip to New Zealand.
On arrival it is plug and play.
SimOptions offers the following physical prepaid sim card for New Zealand:
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 in 124 countries
- Incoming/outgoing calls not supported
Click here for more info or to order an international sim cards for New Zealand online via SimOptions.
Also a last reminder that you can arrange everything online within just a couple clicks if your phone is e-sim compatible. By ordering an e-sim card for New Zealand you don't need to visit a phone store anymore.
Questions about using an e-sim card for traveling to New Zealand? Check out Traveltomtom's complete guide with everything you need to know and a comparison of the best e-sim cards for traveling to New Zealand.
I hope all the above information for buying a prepaid sim card for New Zealand at Auckland International Airport was helpful for your upcoming trip. If you have any more questions, remarks or recommendations then please leave me a comment below to help a fellow traveler 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 New Zealand!
Some links in this article about buying a sim card at Auckland Airport are affiliate links. If you buy any of the products after using an affiliate link I will earn a small commission. Don’t worry this is at absolutely no extra cost to you.