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Buying a SIM Card at Wellington International Airport (WLG) Guide

Wellington – known for being the creative and cultural hub of New Zealand, the Te Papa Tongarewa museum & their love for coffee (just like Melbourne across the Tasman Sea).

It is also the capital of New Zealand (indeed, Auckland is not).

Writing a list of all the cool things to do in Wellington would require another blog post (or a dedicated Wellington blog), so I will save you from that because you want to know what SIM card and eSIM options are available at the airport.

You can get a One NZ (formerly Vodafone) SIM card for between 29 NZD to 99 NZD at Auckland Airport (AKL).

That is quite spread – what gives?

It is because mostly tourist SIM cards and plans are available at the airport.

However, the validity of these plans can last for two months, so that is not too bad.

So let's review all your options and see if getting a SIM card at Wellington International Airport is even worth it.

Buying a SIM Card at Wellington International Airport in New Zealand Guide (logos of One NZ & Vodafone)

Original publication: 19th of December 2022. Last updated: 18th of February 2023.

Table of Contents

Mobile Operators in New Zealand

Before I tell you about the SIM card and eSIM options you have at Wellington International Airport, you first need to know about all the mobile operators in New Zealand.

New Zealand has three mobile operators and two Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offering prepaid services easily accessible to travelers:

  • Spark New Zealand
  • One NZ (formerly Vodafone New Zealand)
  • 2degrees New Zealand
  • Skinny Mobile (Spark New Zealand MVNO)
  • Warehouse Mobile (2degrees New Zealand MVNO)

Sure, there are some online-based MVNOs, but it can take days before they get posted, so I would only recommend getting SIM cards that you can get in stores.

For more information about New Zealand SIM cards, check out my New Zealand SIM card buying guide.

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

Alright, back to what Wellington International Airport has to offer to us.

Where to Buy a SIM Card (or eSIM) at Wellington International Airport?

At Wellington International Airport, one store and a booth sell only one SIM card: One NZ (formerly Vodafone).

There is a One NZ booth at the arrivals hall.

In the departures hall, a Relay store sells the same One NZ Travel SIM cards at the One NZ booth.

Besides One NZ Travel SIM cards, no other SIM cards are sold at Wellington International Airport.

So let's see what your options are.

What SIM Cards & Plans does One NZ (formerly Vodafone New Zealand) Sell at Wellington International Airport (+Prices)?

One NZ (formerly Vodafone) only sells its One NZ Travel SIM cards at Wellington International Airport, ranging from 29 NZD to 99 NZD.

One NZ is the second-largest mobile operator in New Zealand, which was known as Vodafone New Zealand before rebranding to One NZ.

At Wellington International Airport, you have two locations for buying a One NZ Travel SIM: the One NZ booth at the arrivals hall (downstairs) or Relay in the departure hall (upstairs).

You do not have to clear security to go to the Relay store, so you can get your One NZ Travel SIM there before grabbing your luggage (or after passing passport control and customs if you have an international arrival).

Unlike Auckland Airport, where you can get a One NZ Travel SIM in the duty-free area and save 15% (by not paying GST), you will pay full price for your One NZ SIM cards at Wellington International Airport.

Vodafone-One New Zealand Booth at Auckland Airport in the duty-free area

But you cannot miss the booth at the arrivals hall at Wellington International Airport.

One-Vodafone New Zealand Booth at Wellington International Airport

The same actually applies to the Relay store, but you may have to walk a bit further if you enter the terminal from an international arrival.

Relay New Zealand Store at Wellington International Airport

Anyway, the following four (previously three) One NZ Travel SIM cards are available:

PriceDataLocal MinutesInternational Minutes 1Local SMSInternational SMS 1Validity
29 NZD2 GB200 minutesCombined with call allowance200 SMSCombined with text allowance30 days
49 NZD10 GBUnlimited200 minutesUnlimited200 SMS60 days
69 NZD40 GBUnlimited200 minutesUnlimited200 SMS60 days
99 NZD100 GBUnlimited250 minutesUnlimited250 SMS60 days

1 to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands (not for 29 NZD plan), Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan (not for 29 NZD plan), Thailand (not for 29 NZD plan), the United Kingdom & the United States

One-Vodafone New Zealand Travel SIM Plans Shown in Wellington International Airport

Disclaimer: the SIM card prices mentioned in the review were current when I was in New Zealand – the offering and prices may have changed since then. To see One NZ's current starter packs, check out my New Zealand SIM card buying guide

In most cases, your phone will automatically download the correct APN settings for your One NZ Travel SIM to work.

If not, add these values:

  • Name: VFNZ Internet
  • APN: vodafone

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched. I suspect the APN name (VFNZ Internet) will change in the future, but the name can be whatever (even your name if you want) as long as the APN (vodafone) is set correctly.

And all these tourist SIM cards allow for 5G NR access – free of charge.

How much does a regular One NZ SIM card cost? They are sold for 5 NZD in One NZ stores (not the ones at the airports) and from resellers, like grocery stores, gas stations & convenience stores).

One-Vodafone New Zealand SIM Cards & Top Up Vouchers Sold at The Warehouse in Lower Hutt City

So should you get a regular One NZ SIM card and get a regular data-featured prepaid plan or a One NZ Travel NZ?

You can get either – it should not matter that much.

Initially, these One NZ Travel SIMs look expensive… which they kind of are.

However, most plans are valid for 60 days (besides the 25/29 NZD plan – that one is valid for 30 days instead), which somewhat explains the high prices.

With Spark, the Spark NZ Travel Packs are (somehow) more affordable than data-featured prepaid plans.

With One NZ, the prices are similar, but you can save a couple of dollars (if you buy your One NZ Travel SIM in the duty-free area at Auckland Airport).

One-Vodafone New Zealand Travel SIM Starter Pack Front

But the savings will not be major (unlike with Spark, where the difference can be significant).

But if you do plan on visiting New Zealand for a month or two and would like your validity to be as long as possible, the One NZ Travel SIM will be more cost-effective.

For example, if you normally use 20 GB a month, the 60/69 NZD One NZ Travel SIM with 40 GB for 60 days will be a good option.

One-Vodafone New Zealand Travel SIM Booklet Showing Prices

The cheapest way to get 20 GB of data with a One NZ data-featured prepaid plan would be getting a MyFlex Prepay plan with 25 GB of data and 100 local/Australia minutes for 57 NZD.

Multiply that by two (two months), and you would have spent 114 NZD (+5 NZD on a One NZ SIM card, making the total 119 NZD).

One-Vodafone New Zealand Prepaid Booklet Showing MyFlex Plans

Lastly, can you get a One NZ eSIM at Wellington International Airport? No, you cannot… yet.

One NZ does have eSIMs, which was delayed by multiple months, but they are for postpaid customers only.

But I have been told they should be available to prepaid customers in early 2023.

However, the same people told me that it could take until mid-2023 before you can get a One NZ eSIM as a prepaid customer, so do not get too excited yet, lol.

Also, be sure to read my One NZ review if you are interested in getting a One NZ SIM card.

One (formerly Vodafone) New Zealand Review by Phone Travel Wiz

Should You Get a SIM Card at Wellington International Airport?

I recommend getting a One NZ SIM card at Wellington International Airport because you will save (some) money.

The savings with getting a One NZ Travel SIM are minimal unless you stay in New Zealand for more than a month.

One-Vodafone New Zealand SIM Card Held by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

But it is not like you are paying a tourist tax as in many countries.

If you do not want to get a One NZ Travel SIM for some reason or want to get a Spark, 2degrees, or Warehouse Mobile SIM card instead, you have some options if you do not mind walking for a bit.

Just like at Auckland Airport, there is a shopping center close to the airport.

However, the only way to get there is by walking for 20 to 25 minutes (unless you get a Uber or taxi or something – there is no convenient way to get there by public transport).

The shopping center is called the Airport Retail Park, where they have The Warehouse.

The Warehouse sells regular Spark, One NZ, 2degrees & Warehouse Mobile SIM cards (no Skinny Mobile SIM cards, unfortunately).

New Zealand SIM cards are sold for 5 NZD and include no credit (except for Warehouse Mobile in The Warehouse, where you can get its SIM card for 1 NZD giving you 5 NZD credit).

The Warehouse New Zealand in Auckland Airport Selling Spark, One-Vodafone, 2degrees & Warehouse Mobile SIM cards

Because it is rather inconvenient to get to the Airport Retail Park, you may be better off waiting until you get to Wellington CBD to get a regular New Zealand SIM card.

Depending on where you get off the Airport Express bus, it is only a five to ten minute walk to get to the nearest Spark, One NZ, or 2degrees store, let alone any reseller (grocery stores, gas stations & convenience stores).

New Zealand SIM Card Reviews

I tried out all New Zealand SIM cards that you can easily buy from stores.

You should read those reviews.

>>> Spark Review | One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Review | 2degrees Review | Skinny Mobile Review | Warehouse Mobile Review <<<

Spark, One-Vodafone, 2degrees, Skinny Mobile & Warehouse Mobile SIM Cards Held by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

I also tried out various travel eSIMs + a travel SIM card that work in New Zealand: Airalo (Nzcom & Discover Global), Holafly, Nomad & SimOptions + Orange Holiday World (SIM card).

You should also read those reviews.

>>> Airalo Nzcom New Zealand eSIM Review | Airalo Discover Global (in New Zealand) eSIM Review | Airalo Discover Global (in other countries) eSIM Review | Holafly New Zealand eSIM Review | Nomad New Zealand eSIM Review | Orange Holiday World Travel SIM Card in New Zealand Review <<<

Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other Oceanian SIM cards.

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It takes a lot of time to analyze, translate & review the SIM card options worldwide (especially to test them out).

Your support helps me keep producing impartial content by eliminating the need to recommend international SIM cards as the best local SIM card (but some of them CAN be useful).

Every Ko-Fi donation, one-time or monthly, helps me to spend more time creating local SIM card buying guides.

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Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!

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If I can start a business about something I am passionate about (phone travel), then you can do it too!

Learn About Your Phone Travel Options

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Each of these options has its pros and cons. Learn more about them, and find the best option for you.

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