Australia – known for the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef & Kangaroos that want to punch you when they get the chance.
The country is so large, the 6th largest in the world, that it is often considered a continent on its own.
While New Zealand, its brother, is often omitted from world maps – the unwanted child?
Nah, New Zealand is fabulous. But let's stick to Australia for now.
Australia has become a popular destination for education, especially for students from the Pacific Oceania region.
The country also attracts many European youngsters, who can take advantage of the Working Holiday (or Work and Holiday) schemes, allowing them to stay for a year and up to three years to work and explore the country.
While mentioning all the attractions you should see and experience could be a 2000+ article blog on its own, there is no reason to be bored in Australia.
The country has become more expensive over the years, so any way to save some cash while in Australia to spend on experiences is appreciated.
But before you share your colorful Australia experiences online, be aware that international roaming can be expensive.
Travel eSIMs can be a much more affordable way to stay connected, even in Australia.
How much will a travel eSIM for Australia cost?
You can get a travel eSIM for Australia for as little as 4.50 USD, with 1 GB for 7 days, up to 44 USD, for 20 GB, from Airalo, Holafly & Nomad.
While this may sound a bit pricey but international roaming will be even more expensive.
So yeah, these travel eSIMs can be worth it.
In this guide, I will go over the travel eSIM options offered by Airalo, Holafly & Nomad. Let's go.
Original publication: 23rd of September 2022. Last updated: 29th of November 2022.
Table of Contents
eSIMs offered by the Australian Mobile Operators
Suppose you want to get the best service and reception available in Australia.
In that case, it is better to get a SIM card or travel eSIM from the local mobile operators, which in this case would be the Australian ones.
Not only will you not have to deal with latency, but you also get a higher priority on the network because you are a direct customer of the mobile operator instead of a roamer.
And with most travel eSIMs, you are roaming on the network(s) of the local mobile operator(s).
But that is not always the case – the slow speeds part, that is.
Some mobile operators throttle the speeds of prepaid customers because they want more people to get a postpaid plan.
Unfortunately, travelers cannot get postpaid plans – so one way to avoid throttling is by using a travel eSIM.
Yes – travel eSIMs sometimes have faster speeds than native prepaid customers because of throttling.
So, which Australian mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?
Telstra, Optus, Vodafone Australia, ALDImobile Australia, Amaysim, Felix Mobile, Gomo Australia, Kogan Mobile Australia, Lebara Australia, & Woolworths Mobile offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.
Yeah… many Australian mobile operators embrace eSIM for prepaid customers too 🥳.
Besides them, you can also get eSIMs from Airalo (Yes! Go! eSIM), Holafly & Nomad.
One of the main advantages of getting a travel eSIM for Australia is that you can set up the eSIM before arriving in Australia and activate it upon landing and you do not have to deal with Australia's SIM card registration laws.
I have to mention that travel eSIMs will be more expensive than local eSIMs and SIM cards, but they are more convenient.
Moreover, I have plenty of experience with the eSIMs from Airalo, Holafly & Nomad, so I can vouch for them – so can many Phone Travel Wiz readers!
So let's go over what the travel eSIMs offer for Australia!
Airalo eSIMs for Australia (Yes! Go!)
If you have read any of my eSIM or SIM card buying guides before, then you know I am a big fan of Airalo.
Not only does Airalo have eSIMs for most countries (around 190 countries) of any eSIM platform, but they are also often one of the cheapest while offering fantastic service in terms of speeds and reception.
That is because Airalo usually partners up with the mobile operator with the best coverage, the fastest speeds, both, or even multiple operators.
That way, you get the best bang for your buck, I have to say.
In the case of Australia, the Yes! Go! eSIM uses the Optus network.
So, which Australia Yes! Go! eSIMs are available? You have these four options:
- Australia/Yes! Go! 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD
- Australia/Yes! Go! 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 9 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Australia/Yes! Go! 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 12.50 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Australia/Yes! Go! 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.
- Check out my Airalo eSIM reviews
Airalo Yes! Go! eSIM Pros
Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the Yes! Go! eSIM? Yes, there are:
- You can activate your Yes! Go! eSIM as soon as you land in Australia
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Australia's second best mobile operator – Optus
- Yes! Go! eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
- You do not have to worry about SIM card registration with the Yes! Go! eSIM, saving you time
- Out of data? You can simply top up online on the Airalo website and not worry about language barriers when dealing with local agents
I could list many more pros, but these are the major ones.
Unfortunately, there are some cons to be aware of.
Airalo Yes! Go! eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the Yes! Go! eSIM?
- The Australian mobile operators, including Optus itself, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Optus' network, the second best in Australia, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Optus itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Yes! Go! eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Yes! Go! eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Airalo Yes! Go! eSIM Overall Thoughts
Honestly, the Yes! Go! eSIM is fantastic.
The plans offered with Yes! Go! eSIMs are generous and affordable.
You get fast speeds and access to Optus network, without standing in queues or dealing with SIM card registration bureaucracy.
And everything, purchasing and topping up, can be done online on the Airalo website or Airalo app (downloading the app is recommended).
Unfortunately, you cannot call or text with the Yes! Go! eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.
Nomad eSIMs for Australia
Nomad is one of the eSIM players on the market that managed to grow quickly.
That is because it is one of the few premium eSIM players out there, often using multiple partners to bring you the best coverage and speeds out there.
As a result, Nomad is often (slightly) more expensive than Airalo.
But good people run the company.
For example, upon my recommendation, it started offering the Nordics regional eSIM – an eSIM that can be used in Denmark, Finland, Sweden & Norway.
And many more regional eSIMs are coming – I can promise you that!
In Australia, Nomad uses the Vodafone Australia network.
You have the following five options with Nomad for Australia:
- Australia 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD/5.50 EUR/4.50 GBP/7 CAD
- Australia 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 10 USD/10.50 EUR/9 GBP/13.50 CAD
- Australia 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 11 USD/11.50 EUR/9.50 GBP/14.50 CAD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Australia 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 16 USD/16.50 EUR/14 GBP/21 CAD
- Australia 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 22 USD/22.50 EUR/19 GBP/29 CAD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
Even though Nomad dropped its prices for Australia eSIMs, you can still get 3 USD off your first Nomad purchase by using code ADU123!
- Check out my Nomad reviews
Nomad Australia eSIM Pros
Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the Nomad Australia? Yes:
- SIM card registration and bureaucracy? Skip that with the Nomad Australia eSIM, saving you time
- You can activate your Nomad Australia eSIM as soon as you land in Australia
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Vodafone Australia, allowing you to always have the best coverage and speeds
- Nomad Australia eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- Nomad offers the most options (five) and longest validity (30 days) of any travel eSIM in this guide
- Multiple top-ups can be purchased when you are out of data or when your initial plan expires easily on the Nomad site or apps
But it is not all good news with Nomad though – there are some disadvantages.
Nomad Australia eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the Nomad Australia eSIM?
- Australian mobile operators have much more generous data allowances
- While you get access to Vodafone Australia, your speeds may not be as fast as going with the mobile operators directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad Australia eSIM (yet)
- You cannot call or text with the Nomad Australia eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
Nomad Australia eSIM Overall Thoughts
Overall, the Nomad Australia eSIM is an excellent premium eSIM offering the most options and longest validity in this guide.
And you cannot make calls and send SMS with the Nomad Australia eSIM because it is a data-only eSIM.
Holafly eSIMs for Australia
My relationship with Holafly is quite funny.
I knew they existed when they offered travel SIM cards for the Spanish market only.
Then they pivoted to the global market, still offering travel SIM cards.
Eventually, they started offering travel eSIMs for the Spanish market only again before going global.
There are many travel eSIM providers nowadays – new ones pop up every week like mushrooms, so I did not bat an eye.
Until they did something revolutionary.
In 2022, Holafly started offering unlimited data plans for its eSIMs.
And these unlimited data eSIMs can be used in various Asian countries, almost all European Union member states (except for Liechtenstein) & a few other countries, like Canada and the United States.
Unfortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are not available in Australia… yet.
I say yet because Holafly's goal is to offer unlimited data plans for every country it covers: 100+ countries.
And I can tell you that I get positive emails multiple times a week from Phone Travel Wiz readers that have used the unlimited data plans in East- and Southeast Asia, Europe & North America; they love these eSIMs.
For now, you have only two Holafly Australia eSIM (which uses the Vodafone Australia network (as well), by the way):
- Australia 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 34 USD/34 EUR/34 GBP/49 AUD/44 CAD
- Australia 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 44 USD/44 EUR/37 GBP/64 AUD/57 CAD
Even better, you can get 5% off each and any Holafly purchase (so it does not have to be the Australia eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – fantastic, right?
- Check out my Holafly reviews
Holafly Australia eSIM Pros
So, why should you get the Holafly Australia eSIM? Well, because of the following:
- Holafly Australia eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
- You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Vodafone Australia's network
- Unlike going with Vodafone Australia directly, you do not have to worry about SIM card registration because it is unnecessary
- You can activate your Holafly Australia eSIM as soon as you land in Australia
- The Holafly Australia eSIM offers the most data
Holafly Australia eSIM Cons
Why should you not get the Holafly Australia eSIM?
- You cannot call or text with the Holafly Australia eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
- Australian mobile operators, including Vodafone Australia, have much more generous data allowances
- While you get full (4G/LTE) access to Vodafone Australia's network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Vodafone Australia directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
- You cannot top up your Holafly Australia eSIM – you would have to buy another eSIM if you need more data
- There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly Australia eSIM (yet)
Holafly Australia eSIM Overall Thoughts
While you have only two options for the Holafly Australia eSIM, it is the most generous eSIM (in terms of data) in this guide.
And the price for the Holafly Australia eSIM is low compared to expensive Pay As You Go roaming rates for Australia.
But it still is not cheap.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for Australia (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs Australia.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's Australia Yes! Go! eSIM (cheapest)
- Nomad Australia eSIM (most eSIM options)
- Holafly Australia eSIM (most generous data plan)
Remember to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for Holafly eSIMs and code ADU123 for Nomad eSIMs – a code is not necessary for Airalo eSIM purchases.
Buying a SIM Card in Australia
Do these eSIMs not sound appealing to you, or does your phone not support eSIMs (but still thought this guide was insightful enough that you read it until the end)?
Consider getting an Australian SIM card instead – that linked guide is the most extensive SIM card buying guide for Australia on the web, packed with insightful information and tips.
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