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eSIMs for New Zealand: The Best Travel Plans | 2024 Guide

New Zealand – although most aware of its existence, it is often omitted from world maps.

It is so bad that there is even a dedicated subreddit called Maps without New Zealand on them, with close to 100 000 members.

But what is the country known for? Rugby, the Haka & the Lord of the Rings.

Oh, and the Manuka Honey is phenomenal.

But what can you actually do in the country? A lot.

Sure, you can explore Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, or Wellington, but you would be doing yourself a disservice.

The nature in New Zealand is stunning.

The Abel Tasman National Park is famous. Franz Josef Glacier has unique tours with remarkable views, and you can go on the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours.

In short, there is no reason to be bored in New Zealand.

But before you share your colorful New Zealand experiences online, be aware that international roaming can be expensive.

Travel eSIMs can be a much more affordable way to stay connected, even in New Zealand.

How much will a travel eSIM for New Zealand cost?

You can get a travel eSIM for New Zealand for as little as 7 USD for 1 GB of data (7 days) and up to 69 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.

Buying an eSIM for New Zealand Guide (logos of Holafly, Nomad, Discover+, Nzcom, Alosim & Airalo)

Original publication: 26th of September 2022. Last updated: 13th of February 2024.


Table of Contents

In a Hurry? A Quick Introduction

I will write about four eSIM options in New Zealand (and explain why they are included).

But if you want to quickly check out what the best eSIMs are for New Zealand without my analysis and explanations, here is an overview of the eSIMs covered in this guide:

Note: the promo codes mentioned above can also be used for regional and global eSIMs (they are not restricted to country-specific eSIMs only). In other news, the eSIM providers are in alphabetical order per grouping (New Zealand-only, regional & global) – not in order of preference (you would have to read the complete guide to find out which eSIMs I love the most for New Zealand 😜).

Let's truly get started, shall we?


eSIMs offered by the New Zealand Mobile Operators

Suppose you want to get the best service and reception available in New Zealand.

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 New Zealand 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 New Zealand mobile operators offer eSIMs to prepaid customers?

Spark New Zealand & 2degrees offer eSIMs to prepaid customers.

Besides Spark New Zealand & 2degrees, you can also get eSIMs from Airalo (Nzcom eSIM), Holafly & Nomad.

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!

Phone Travel Wiz Approved Seal

So let's go over what the travel eSIMs offer for New Zealand!


Airalo eSIMs for New Zealand (Nzcom)

New Zealand Nzcom eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

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 New Zealand the Nzcom uses the Vodafone New Zealand network – the fastest mobile operator in New Zealand.

Vodafone Logo
© Vodafone

So, which New Zealand Nzcom eSIMs are available? You have these six options:

  1. New Zealand/Nzcom 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 4.50 USD
  2. New Zealand/Nzcom 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 8.50 USD
  3. New Zealand/Nzcom 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 11 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  4. New Zealand/Nzcom 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 16 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  5. New Zealand/Nzcom 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 27 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers (and the one I used in during this trip)
  6. New Zealand/Nzcom 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 44 USD

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only). The (promotional) prices were updated on the 31st of January.

Airalo New Zealand Nzcom eSIM with Prices
See the list above for up-to-date prices and allowances. The figures in this image may be outdated.

The Airalo links will automatically get you the available Phone Travel Wiz exclusive offers – a code is unnecessary.

Airalo Nzcom New Zealand eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz (logos of Airalo and Nzcom)

Airalo Nzcom eSIM Pros

Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the Nzcom eSIM? Yes, there are:

  • You can activate your Nzcom eSIM as soon as you land in New Zealand
  • You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to New Zealand's fastest mobile operator – Vodafone New Zealand
  • Nzcom eSIMs are affordable (especially compared to roaming) and have generous data allowances
  • 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 Nzcom eSIM Cons

Why should you not get the Nzcom eSIM?

  • The New Zealand mobile operators, including Vodafone New Zealand itself, have much more generous data allowances
  • While you get access to Vodafone New Zealand's network, the fastest in New Zealand, your speeds will not be as fast as going with Vodafone New Zealand itself because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
  • There is no 5G NR access with the Nzcom eSIM (yet)
  • You cannot call or text with the Nzcom eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)

Airalo Nzcom eSIM Overall Thoughts

Honestly, the Nzcom eSIM is fantastic.

The plans offered with Nzcom eSIMs are generous and affordable.

You get fast speeds and access to New Zealand's fastest network, Vodafone New Zealand.

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 Nzcom eSIM, as it is a data-only eSIM.

But if you do wish to make actual calls, so not through apps like Whatsapp, consider a Spark New Zealand or 2degrees eSIM or a New Zealand SIM card.

Airalo Nzcom New Zealand eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz (logos of Airalo and Nzcom)

Nomad eSIMs for New Zealand

Nomad eSIMs Logo
© Nomad

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 New Zealand, Nomad uses the Spark New Zealand network.

You have the following ten options with Nomad for New Zealand:

  1. New Zealand 1 GB eSIM for 7 days (Joytel), costing 4 USD
  2. New Zealand 1 GB eSIM for 7 days (Truphone), costing 6 USD
  3. New Zealand 3 GB eSIM for 20 days (Joytel), costing 8 USD
  4. New Zealand 3 GB eSIM for 30 days (Truphone), costing 11 USD
  5. New Zealand 5 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 13 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  6. New Zealand 5 GB eSIM for 30 days (Truphone), costing 15 USD
  7. New Zealand 10 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 20 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  8. New Zealand 15 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 24 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  9. New Zealand 20 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 30 USD
  10. New Zealand 30 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 60 USD
  11. New Zealand 40 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 75 USD
  12. New Zealand 50 GB eSIM for 30 days (Joytel), costing 90 USD

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only).

In the past few months, Nomad reduced its prices significantly for the New Zealand eSIM (up to 49% for the 1 GB, 3 GB & 5 GB plans)

Nomad New Zealand eSIMs
See the list above for up-to-date prices and allowances. The figures in this image may be outdated.

Use code ADU123 for the best deals available when getting Nomad eSIMs (on the site or their apps) and get 3 USD/2.75 EUR/2.35 GBP/4 CAD off (even on top of current promotions)!

Nomad New Zealand eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz (logo of Nomad)

Nomad New Zealand eSIM Pros

Are there any (more) reasons why you should get the Nomad New Zealand? Yes:

  • You can activate your Nomad New Zealand eSIM as soon as you land in New Zealand
  • You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Vodafone New Zealand, allowing you to always have the fastest coverage and speeds
  • Nomad New Zealand 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 New Zealand eSIM Cons

Why should you not get the Nomad New Zealand eSIM?

  • New Zealand mobile operators have much more generous data allowances
  • While you get access to Vodafone New Zealand, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Vodafone New Zealand directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
  • There is no 5G NR access with the Nomad New Zealand eSIM (yet)
  • You cannot call or text with the Nomad New Zealand eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)

Nomad New Zealand eSIM Overall Thoughts

Overall, the Nomad New Zealand 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 New Zealand eSIM because it is a data-only eSIM.

Nomad New Zealand eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz (logo of Nomad)

Holafly eSIMs for New Zealand

Holafly Logo
© Holafly

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.

Phone Travel Wiz x Holafly Banner

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.

Fortunately, unlimited data eSIMs are available in New Zealand.

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.

Vodafone Logo
© Vodafone

You have the following eight Holafly New Zealand eSIM options:

  1. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 5 days, costing 27 USD
  2. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 7 days, costing 34 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  3. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 10 days, costing 37 USD
  4. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 15 days, costing 47 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  5. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 20 days, costing 54 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  6. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 30 days, costing 79 USD
  7. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 60 days, costing 107 USD
  8. New Zealand unlimited data eSIM for 90 days, costing 139 USD

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only).

Holafly New Zealand eSIMs
See the list above for up-to-date prices and allowances. The figures in this image may be outdated.

Even better, you can get 5% off each and any Holafly purchase (so it does not have to be the New Zealand eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – fantastic, right?

Holafly New Zealand eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz (logo of Holafly)

Holafly New Zealand eSIM Pros

So, why should you get the Holafly New Zealand eSIM? Well, because of the following:

  • Holafly New Zealand eSIMs are affordable compared to roaming
  • You get full (up to 4G/LTE) access to Vodafone New Zealand's network – the fastest in New Zealand
  • You can activate your Holafly New Zealand eSIM as soon as you land in New Zealand
  • The Holafly New Zealand eSIM offers the most data

Holafly New Zealand eSIM Cons

Why should you not get the Holafly New Zealand eSIM?

  • You cannot call or text with the Holafly New Zealand eSIM (nor can you receive them – you get no (local) phone number)
  • New Zealand mobile operators, including Vodafone New Zealand, have much more generous data allowances
  • While you get full (4G/LTE) access to Vodafone New Zealand's network, your speeds may not be as fast as going with Vodafone New Zealand directly because you will be roaming on their networks (and not be a native customer)
  • You cannot top up your Holafly New Zealand eSIM – you would have to buy another eSIM if you need more data
  • There is no 5G NR access with the Holafly New Zealand eSIM (yet)

Holafly New Zealand eSIM Overall Thoughts

I love that Holafly decided to innovate and offer unlimited data plans (although unlimited should be written as “unlimited” instead).

I was not a fan of Holafly when it had travel SIM cards (discontinued) because they were crazy expensive (I am talking about 20 USD for 1 GB of data in some Caribbean nation expensive).

Holafly New Zealand eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz (logo of Holafly)

Be sure to use code PHONETRAVELWIZ for 5% off each Holafly purchase (yes, you can use it multiple times)!


Airalo Discover(+) eSIM (formerly Discover Global)

Airalo Discover eSIM
© Airalo
Airalo Discover+ eSIM
© Airalo

Airalo was probably the first eSIM provider to introduce a global eSIM – it was called Discover Global.

Discover Global eSIM Airalo
© Airalo

I have had decent to good experiences with that eSIM, but I felt it could improve.

Such as extending the validity of most plans (maximum used to be 180 days) and having 5G NR access in popular destinations (like many regional Airalo eSIMs do nowadays, even country-specific ones).

In August 2023, Airalo made a radical change to its global eSIM.

Until then, the eSIM could be used in about 85 countries – always up to 4G/LTE (with some networks on 3G only).

This eSIM was powered by FL1 Telecom Liechtenstein (network name can be Mobilkom (Liechtenstein) at times).

FL1 Liechtenstein Telecom Logo
© FL1 Liechtenstein Telecom

This mobile operator worked well in Europe and some Asian countries, but it was often one of the slowest performing (Airalo eSIMs).

Now, Airalo's global eSIM is called Discover(+).

Airalo Discover eSIM
© Airalo
Airalo Discover+ eSIM
© Airalo

It is powered by eSIM Go (which is basically Drei Austria).

eSIM Go Logo
© eSIM Go
Three (3) Logo
© Three (3)

The difference between the Airalo Discover and Airalo Discover+ eSIMs is that the latter has calling and texting functionalities (with an Austrian +43 phone number).

Because of this, Discover+ eSIMs can be up to 20 USD more expensive than regular Discover eSIMs.

For the previous Airalo Discover Global eSIMs, you paid the same prices as the Discover+ eSIMs for worse availability (85+ countries instead of 125+) and no calling or texting at all.

So… it is an upgrade 😎.

Not only that, but you (finally) get 5G NR access in quite some countries (55+)1 as well.

1 click here, press select the variant you want & click on network to see which network(s) allow for 5G NR access. You often have access to multiple local networks, but not all have 5G NR access (and some do not even give you 4G/LTE access)

Airalo Discover(+) eSIM Network Availability (3G-4G-5G)

Moreover, the most expensive option is now valid for a whole year (365 days) instead of 180 days.

The Airalo Discover(+) eSIM can be used in the following 125+ countries:

    • Åland Islands 3
    • Albania
    • Argentina
    • Armenia (new)
    • Australia 5
    • Austria 3
    • Azerbaijan
    • Bahrain (new) 3
    • Bangladesh (new)
    • Belarus 1
    • Belgium 3
    • Bolivia (new)
    • Bosnia & Herzegovina
    • Botswana (new) 2
    • Brazil 5
    • Brunei (new) 1
    • Bulgaria 5
    • Cambodia
    • Canada 5
    • Central African Republic (new) 1
    • Chad (new)
    • Chile
    • China 3
    • Colombia
    • Congo, Democratic Republic of (new)
    • Congo, Republic of (new)
    • Costa Rica (new)
    • Croatia 3
    • Cyprus 5
    • Czech Republic 3
    • Denmark 5
    • Dominican Republic 1
    • Ecuador
    • Egypt (new)
    • El Salvador (new) 1
    • Estonia 5
    • Eswatini (new) 1
    • Finland 5
    • France 3
    • French West Indies (new) 3
    • Gabon (new)
    • Georgia
    • Germany 3
    • Ghana (new)
    • Gibraltar 1
    • Greece 3
    • Greenland (new) 1
    • Guatemala (new) 1
    • Guernsey (new)
    • Guinea-Bissau (new) 1
    • Honduras (new) 1
    • Hong Kong 3
    • Hungary 5
    • Iceland 3
    • India
    • Indonesia 3
    • Ireland 3
    • Isle of Man (new)
    • Iraq 1
    • Israel 5
    • Italy 5
    • Ivory Coast
    • Japan 3
    • Jersey
    • Jordan (new)
    • Kazakhstan (new)
    • Kenya (new)
    • Kosovo
    • Kuwait 3
    • Kyrgyzstan (new)
    • Latvia 3
    • Liberia 1
    • Liechtenstein 4
    • Lithuania 5
    • Luxembourg 3
    • Macau
    • Madagascar (new)
    • Malawi (new)
    • Malaysia
    • Mali
    • Malta 3
    • Mexico 5
    • Moldova
    • Monaco (new)
    • Montenegro 5
    • Morocco (new)
    • Netherlands 5
    • New Zealand
    • Nicaragua (new)
    • Niger (new) 1
    • Nigeria (new) 2
    • North Macedonia
    • Norway 5
    • Oman (new)
    • Pakistan (new)
    • Panama
    • Paraguay 1
    • Peru
    • Philippines 3
    • Poland 3
    • Portugal 3
    • Puerto Rico
    • Qatar 5
    • Réunion (new)
    • Romania 5
    • Russia
    • Saudi Arabia 5
    • Senegal (new) 1
    • Serbia
    • Seychelles (new)
    • Singapore
    • Slovakia 3
    • Slovenia 5
    • South Africa
    • South Korea 3
    • Spain 5
    • Sri Lanka
    • Sudan
    • Sweden 5
    • Switzerland 3
    • Taiwan 3
    • Tanzania (new)
    • Tajikistan 1
    • Thailand 5
    • Tunisia (new)
    • Turkey 3
    • Uganda (new)
    • Ukraine (new)
    • United Arab Emirates (new) 3
    • United Kingdom 5
    • United States 5
    • Uruguay (new)
    • Uzbekistan (new)
    • U.S. Virgin Islands
    • Vietnam
    • Yemen (new) 1
    • Zambia (new) 1

    * “(new)” is compared to the previous Discover Global eSIM (discontinued) or recently added countries
    1 on 3G only
    2 check the networks section on the Airalo website or app because at least one of the available networks is on 3G only (while the others are up to 4G/LTE)
    3 5G NR access for all available networks
    4 even if your phone does not support 5G NR, select FL1 Telecom/Telecom Liechtenstein for 4G/LTE access because Salt Liechtenstein is restricted to 3G only
    5 check the networks section on the Airalo website or app because at least one of the available networks is up to 4G/LTE (while the others are up to 5G NR)

Airalo Discover Global eSIM Eligible Countries Map Infographic by Phone Travel Wiz (October 2023 Version)

You have these 12 Airalo Discover Global eSIMs:

  1. Discover 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 9 USD
  2. Discover+ 1 GB (with 10 minutes and 10 SMS) eSIM for 7 days, costing 15 USD
  3. Discover 2 GB eSIM for 15 days, costing 17 USD
  4. Discover+ 2 GB (with 20 minutes and 20 SMS) eSIM for 15 days, costing 27 USD
  5. Discover 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 24 USD
  6. Discover+ 3 GB (with 30 minutes and 30 SMS) eSIM for 30 days, costing 36 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  7. Discover 5 GB eSIM for 60 days, costing 35 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  8. Discover+ 5 GB (with 50 minutes and 50 SMS) eSIM for 60 days, costing 50 USD
  9. Discover 10 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 59 USD
  10. Discover+ 10 GB (with 100 minutes and 100 SMS) eSIM for 180 days, costing 79 USD
  11. Discover 20 GB eSIM for 365 days, costing 69 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
  12. Discover+ 20 GB (with 200 minutes and 200 SMS) eSIM for 365 days, costing 89 USD

Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in December based on data up to the 30th of December (2023 data only). The (promotional) prices were updated on the 31st of January.

Interested in using the Airalo Discover(+) eSIM in another country or countries? Read my Airalo Global eSIM review (tested in numerous countries and counting).

Before Airalo updated its global eSIM, I used the old version (Discover Global) in 15+ countries. From August 2023, I will only test the Discover+ eSIM. This is why some country-specific reviews (like Global in Japan) still refer to the Discover Global one and show the old eSIM image instead of Discover+.

Airalo Discover Global eSIM Review by Phone Travel Wiz
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Overview of the Best eSIMs for New Zealand (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)

In this guide, I went over various eSIMs in New Zealand.

Below is an overview of my recommendation order:

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 New Zealand

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 a New Zealand SIM card instead – that linked guide is the most extensive SIM card buying guide for New Zealand on the web, packed with insightful information and tips.

Buying a SIM Card in New Zealand Guide (logos of One NZ, Spark, Warehouse Mobile, Skinny Mobile & 2degrees)