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? Rudby, 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, or Queenstown, 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, with 1 GB for 7 days, 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.
Original publication: 26th of September 2022. Last updated: 29th of November 2022.
Table of Contents
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!
So let's go over what the travel eSIMs offer for New Zealand!
Airalo eSIMs for New Zealand (Nzcom)
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.
So, which New Zealand Nzcom eSIMs are available? You have these four options:
- New Zealand/Nzcom 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 7 USD
- New Zealand/Nzcom 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 14 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- New Zealand/Nzcom 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 21 USD
- New Zealand/Nzcom 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 31.50 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 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.
Nomad eSIMs for New Zealand
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 Vodafone New Zealand network.
You have the following five options with Nomad for New Zealand:
- New Zealand 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 15 USD/15 EUR/13.50 GBP/20 CAD
- New Zealand 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 28 USD/28 EUR/25 GBP/37.50 CAD
- New Zealand 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 33 USD/33 EUR/29 GBP/44 CAD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- New Zealand 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 50 USD/50 EUR/44 GBP/66.50 CAD
- New Zealand 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 69 USD/69 EUR/60.50 GBP/92 CAD
Even though Nomad dropped its prices for New Zealand eSIMs, you can still get 3 USD off your first Nomad purchase by using code ADU123!
- Check out my Nomad reviews
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.
Holafly eSIMs for New Zealand
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 New Zealand… 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 New Zealand eSIM (which uses the Vodafone New Zealand network (as well) – the mobile operator with the fastest speeds, by the way):
- New Zealand 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 34 USD/34 EUR/27 GBP/49 AUD/44 CAD
- New Zealand 20 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 44 USD/44 EUR/34 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 New Zealand eSIM) when you use code PHONETRAVELWIZ – fantastic, right?
- Check out my Holafly reviews
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
While you have only two options for the Holafly New Zealand eSIM, it is the most generous eSIM (in terms of data) in this guide.
And the price for the Holafly New Zealand eSIM is low compared to expensive Pay As You Go roaming rates for New Zealand.
But it still is not cheap.
Overview of the Best eSIMs for New Zealand (Airalo vs. Holafly vs. Nomad)
In this guide, I went over various eSIMs New Zealand.
Below is an overview of my recommendation order:
- Airalo's New Zealand Nzcom eSIM (cheapest)
- Nomad New Zealand eSIM (most eSIM options)
- Holafly New Zealand 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 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.
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