Staying connected throughout your travels in New Zealand is easy with a little bit of forward planning.
You’re probably planning to travel around New Zealand with your smartphone, tablet or laptop – or all three.
If you want to stay connected to the internet and phone services in New Zealand with your overseas phone, you will need to purchase a SIM card from one of the main local phone companies to access the network here. It’s also recommended that you purchase a pre-paid plan. This will give you a mix of data, calling and texting throughout your trip.
Pre-paid data and mobile packs start from around NZ$15 per month, depending on how much data you require. Some companies also offer weekly options.
You’ll need to take your mobile device(s) into a branch when you first arrive to purchase your pack. Use the branch locator on the website to find the most convenient location for you.
If you’re looking to use a combination of devices to connect to the internet, it is most cost-effective to set up your phone as a wireless hotspot that your other devices can run off as well. The company you choose will advise you on what will work best for your needs.
New Zealand has good internet and mobile coverage in all its main centres and surrounding towns, but you may find mobile coverage is not available in some rural and wilderness areas.
New Zealand’s free WiFI services are limited. You’ll find free WiFi spots around central Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Dunedin.
Some of New Zealand’s accommodation providers provide free WiFi for guests. It’s a good idea to check if this service is offered when you book.
There is a network of around 2000 public phones across New Zealand. These require a Phonecard which can be purchased from most supermarkets, service stations and dairies (convenience stores). Some payphones also accept coins, but none accept credit cards.
New Zealand residential and business phone numbers can be found online in the White Pages or use Yellow to find a business by category.
Power points/plugs and voltage in New Zealand
New Zealand uses Type I plugs. This is the same as in Australia and the Pacific Islands. Type I plugs have three flat pins, with two angled to form an inverted ‘v’ at the top and one running straight down underneath.
The voltage in New Zealand is 230/240 volts (50Hz). If you’re bringing appliances or chargers from countries where the voltage is lower, such as the USA, Canada or Japan, check that your appliance states clearly that it is safe for use up to 240 volts.
If not, you will also need a voltage converter/transformer. If you plug a lower voltage appliance into New Zealand’s highest voltage supply, the item could be damaged.
Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt ac sockets (rated at 20 watts) in bathrooms for electric razors only. For all other equipment, an adapter/converter is necessary, unless the item has a multi-voltage option.