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Roaming in New Zealand: all you need to know

Here we will tell you about roaming in New Zealand, what it is, how it works, and the alternatives to enjoying the internet connection!

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October 28, 2023

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If you are about to travel to New Zealand and you want to be connected all the time, you are in the right place. Here we are going to tell you about roaming in New Zealand, what it is, how it works, and the options available.  We are also going to show you other alternatives to connect for a reasonable price.

International roaming service can be very expensive. One of the best alternatives is to get a Holafly New Zealand prepaid eSIM.

eSIM for New Zealand

>>Buy an eSIM for New Zealand<< Get 5% OFF. Code: MYESIMNOW5

What is Roaming?

Roaming is the service that your operator offers to connect to the internet abroad, make calls, and send SMS. To achieve that, your domestic operator has to connect to the networks of the operators at your destination. This service is included in your contract. Check the rates to make sure whether it is worth it or not.

That’s why, if you are traveling soon and want to know everything about roaming in New Zealand, it will be necessary that you are well-informed in regard to the prices and conditions, which we will explain below.

Roaming in New Zealand prices: a comparison

You can find a list of the prices of international roaming for New Zealand below, from different cellular operators around the world. Read the list to compare the prices, and choose whether you will be using their international roaming or not

OperatorPrice ($/MB or day)
O2$6/day
Vodafone$6/day
Three$5/day
AT&T$2.05/MB
T-Mobile$15/MB
Rogers$15/10MB
Telstra$3/MB
Optus$1/MB
Table 1. Comparison of roaming prices

Some of the prices can look attractive, but it is very expensive if you compare roaming with other options.

How much do calls and SMS cost?

You can find this information below:

O2 roaming in New Zealand

Customers from O2 UK who wants to enjoy international roaming during their trip to New Zealand will be able to use the O2 Travel Bolt on plan, which costs $6 per day, and includes unlimited data, calls, and text.

To activate roaming, you just have to text O2TRAVEL to 23336.

Vodafone roaming service in New Zealand

You will only need to pay $6 per day to use Vodafone roaming while visiting New Zealand. You will be able to enjoy your minutes, messages, and data plan from the UK. Additionally, you will only be charged on the days that you actually use your phone. To activate it, you can do it through the My Vodafone app.

Three roaming in New Zealand

With this carrier, you’ll be able to use the Go Roam plan, which only costs $5 per day. With it, you can use your talk time, text, and data allowance from your plan during your stay in New Zealand. If you exceed your limit for the month, you will have to pay $1 per extra MB consumed.

AT&T roaming in New Zealand

This operator has two different options for you: the International Day Pass and the pay-per-use service, both being available with the eSIM card USA they offer. The first one costs $10 per day and includes unlimited data, talk, and text. On the other hand, the pay-per-use rates are $2.05 per MB, $3 per minute of call, $0.50 per message, and $1.30 per message with pictures and videos.

To activate their roaming services, you can do it through your cellphone’s settings.

T-Mobile roaming in New Zealand

T-Mobile’s customers, with one of the Simple Global Plans, will be able to use their phone services at no extra cost. But, customers that currently have any of the other T-Mobile plans have to pay the pay-per-use rates, which are $15 per MB, $0.50 per text, and $0.25 per call minute.

To activate T-Mobile roaming, you will only have to dial #RON#.

Rogers roaming in New Zealand

Rogers offers the Roam Like Home plan. With this option, customers will be able to use their plan’s minutes, texts, and data for just paying $15 per day. On the other hand, users can also use the pay-per-use service by paying $15 per 10 MB, $2 per minute of call, and $0.75 per text.

People can activate this service from their cellphone settings.

Telstra roaming in New Zealand

The roaming service from Telstra costs $3 per MB. Making or receiving calls has a price of $3 per minute. Sending an SMS costs $0.75, and receiving comes at no extra cost. They also offer a daily package that costs $5 per day and includes unlimited talk and text and 500 MB per day.

To activate this service, you can do so through My Telstra App.

Optus roaming in New Zealand

Customers with Optus Choice Plus, Optus Plus Family & Optus Plus Promo plans will be able to use the Optus $5 roaming Add-on, which includes 5 GB and unlimited standard national talk and text for $5/day. They also offer standard roaming rates, which are $1 per MB used.

You can activate or deactivate this service from the My Optus app. 

Alternatives to avoid international roaming service in New Zealand

There are many options to connect to the internet abroad, and we are going to show you some of them below. That way, you will be able to compare the benefits that each alternative offers, as well as their prices.

(You may also be interested in the best SIM card for Australia)

Prepaid eSIM card for New Zealand

We will start by talking about best eSIMs for New Zealand. This is practically a digital SIM card, which has been gaining a lot of popularity among travelers lately due to the ease with which this service can be obtained. It is definitely one of the best alternatives, and many travelers choose the New Zealand eSIM for their trips. You can check the best option below:

  • Holafly: With Holafly, you will be able to get an eSIM for New Zealand and enjoy plenty of benefits with it. Their eSIM has two different plans, with an excellent connection speed, and it will cost from $6 for one day to $139 for 90 days.
  • With this eSIM, you can connect to the internet once you arrive at your destination. Additionally, you will have 24/7 support from Holafly’s customer service.
Unlimited data eSIM for New Zealand
Holafly eSIM card for New Zealand. Source: Holafly,

Free WiFi

This alternative is not very popular because it is not safe or stable. If you want to look for an address or check WhatsApp, it’s just about enough, but do not provide any important information because it can be easily stolen.

  • Auckland airport: It offers 2 hours of free WiFi, which you can extend to three if you join the Strata Club (you can do so from their official app). To connect, you have to activate the WiFi on your cellphone, choose ‘Auckland Airport’, log in on the website that will appear, and click on ‘Get Online’. You will receive a confirmation message, and you will be able to browse the internet after that.
  • Network organized by Isite: It shows you a map of the places in New Zealand with a free Internet connection in Auckland, Manawatu, Wellington, West Coast, and much more!
  • Public Places: You can find free WiFi in many places, such as cafés, restaurants, parks, malls, and more.
Free Wifi
Free WiFi in New Zealand. Source: Okdiario.

Pocket WiFi

After the SIM card with cellular data, this is one of the most selected options, but you have to be very careful with the device. Pocket WiFi companies do not sell the device, they actually rent it. You will also have to pay for the internet service.

  • PocWifi: They offer unlimited internet with 4G speed at $9 per day (€8). The battery last 10 hours, and you can pick it up at the airports from New Zealand or Australia.
  • Wifivox: It costs €7 per day to connect to the internet with 4G speed. This provider also offers the option of sharing your cellular data with other devices. It is a small compact device. You will be able to enjoy 500 MB daily with a great speed. The data plan is renovated every day, so the cellular data you don’t use will not roll over.
  • Cello-mobile: They offer daily plans from $15 (€13), monthly or weekly. If you are on a cruise, you will have to pay an additional price of $50 (€45). The plan includes the device and a battery that lasts 10 hours.

Comparison between the roaming alternatives

Now that you have read all about roaming alternatives, we are going to show you a comparison chart so you can pick the option that best suits your needs and budget.

CharacteristiceSIM cardRoamingPocket WiFiFree WiFi
Is it accessible?YesNoNoYes
Great connection?YesYesYesNo
Unlimited internet?YesNoYesYes
Additional cost?NoNoYesNo
Can I share mobile data?NoNoYesNo
Do I have to pay if I lose it?NoNoYesNo
Easy usage and installation?YesNoNoYes
Table 2. Comparison between alternatives.

Which is the best alternative?

A great alternative has to offer great benefits, great connection, online services, the possibility of keeping your WhatsApp, and 24-hour customer service and support, all of this for an accessible price. Well, let us tell you that the Holafly eSIM card for New Zealand has all these features and great coverage too. You won’t regret getting one, and you’ll avoid paying the high cost of roaming!