eSIM New Zealand: compare, buy, and travel

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When you travel to New Zealand, be aware of two things: first, the word Kiwi, since it has three different meanings in the country – the fruit as we know it, a bird, or a native person from New Zealand, and second, the roaming services because these are usually expensive and even more when you are a tourist. So, to avoid confusion with the word Kiwi, the easiest solution is to know when to use it thanks to searching for its definition online with a good internet connection without overpaying. The best option is the eSIM, a new way to travel and stay always connected.

eSIMs are new forms of SIM card format that work virtually. Since it’s easy to use and buy, you can get it from the comfort of your home or when you are already in New Zealand because you won’t have to depend on shipping or additional expenses, unlike other Pocket WiFi, and the best thing is that in this article we will tell you everything you need to know: how to use it, its main features, and even the providers that are on the market along with a comparison between them.

  • High-speed connection without surprise bills.
  • Receive your QR code immediately.
  • Connect to the best network.
  • Forget about roaming and searching for WiFi.
  • Keep your WhatsApp number.
  • Easy to set up: you’ll receive an email with your eSIM in seconds, no matter where you are.
  • Get 5% OFF! Code: roaming5
esim New Zealand

What you should know about eSIM New Zealand

Did you know that in New Zealand, you can get a small piece of the world of the Lord of the Rings? Curious, right? The village is called Hobbiton, and surely when you visit that beautiful little town, you may not want to lose internet access to anything in the world. So, to avoid this situation, you might be thinking of buying an eSIM, but before you make any purchase, we encourage you to review the following list with the minimum requirements for the use of an eSIM.

  • Check that your cell phone is compatible with an eSIM because it is a relatively new technology, and some devices are not compatible.
  • Check that the operator or eSIM card provider supports your device. We anticipate that the iPhone XR or more recent versions are preferred by the companies that provide the virtual SIM.
  • You must have an email to register and receive your eSIM.
  • To activate your eSIM, you must have an internet connection since your eSIM profile will be downloaded from the operator’s servers. You can do this in New Zealand from a WiFi spot.
  • Some providers will ask you to install their app to download the eSIM.

Cellphone eSIM providers to travel to New Zealand

After checking the main requirements, you must know the companies that sell eSIM for travelers. We say for travelers because their plans are intended to be used for tourism or business trips abroad, so they don’t offer plans for residents. In case of the latter interests you, we will tell you later which company can help you with this process.

Without further ado, the companies that sell eSIM to travel to New Zealand are:

Prices and data plans of eSIM providers to travel to New Zealand

As we mentioned, the idea is to make your trip to New Zealand as easy as possible with an eSIM and to avoid searching all over the internet for the plans offered by the companies listed above. Here are each plan’s plans, pros, cons, and prices.


Buying the Holafly eSIM card for New Zealand is very easy and fast. You will need to visit the official Holafly website, search for your travel destination, and choose the plan that best suits your trip. In this case, the New Zealand plans offered by this online store are two, one of 10GB and one of 20GB, each for 30 days, at a price of $34 and $44, respectively.

With this eSIM, you can enjoy different benefits, such as connecting to one of the best internet networks in New Zealand and many more that we will discuss below. Also, no matter where you are in the world, you can get one of these eSIMs in minutes.

Pros of Holafly’s eSIM for New Zealand:

  • High-speed and stable connection in New Zealand.
  • Keep your WhatsApp number on your cellphone.
  • Set up your data plan by scanning a simple QR code.
  • 24/7 customer support.

Cons of Holafly’s eSIM for New Zealand:

  • You won’t be able to make or receive calls.
  • No messages included.
  • You can’t share data.


Wifimap is a smartphone app that enables users to connect to the internet in various ways. Their main job is to help people find free wifi locations in the country they are visiting. But, they also provide the sale of eSIMs for tourists to more than 50 destinations across the world.

To buy one of their eSIMs, people must download their app and use it to search for the appropriate eSIM for their intended trip. For New Zealand, people can buy a plan that is accessible for both Australia and New Zealand, which would let you use 1GB of data for 30 days at $9. As you can see, very little data is available, so if you frequently use the internet, this might not be the greatest choice.

Pros of WiFiMap eSIM:

  • High-speed 4G and LTE networks.
  • No need for a contract.
  • Fast refill.

Cons of WiFiMap eSIM:

  • They only offer data plans with 1GB.
  • Not compatible with many phones.


As a third and last option, we bring you, Nomad. This is a digital eSIM marketplace that connects global travelers with different data plans in various countries around the world. To purchase one of their eSIMs, you will need to download the Nomad mobile app, search for your travel destination and choose the plan that best suits your needs.

The great advantage of this online store is that it offers a wide variety of data plans for your eSIM. From 1GB to 100GB, with options of 3, 5, 7, 10, 30, or 60 days.

Pros of Nomad eSIM for New Zealand:

  • High-speed 4G and LTE networks.
  • No need for a contract.
  • Additional data top-up is available.

Cons of Nomad eSIM for New Zealand:

  • This plan does not include a number, so you will not have call and SMS service.
  • Not compatible with many phones.
  • Network coverage and speed may vary depending on location and time of day.

Comparison of eSIM providers for New Zealand 

ProviderDataDaysPrice (USD)LanguageSales channels
Holafly10GB30$34Spanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
Holafly20GB30$44Spanish, English, German, and FrenchWeb
WifiMap1GB30$9English, RussianWeb, Play Store, App Store
Nomad1GB7$16EnglishWeb, App Store
Nomad3GB 30$15EnglishWeb, App Store
Nomad10GB30$50EnglishWeb, App Store
Table 1. Comparison of eSIM providers to connect to the internet in New Zealand

Features of the eSIM to travel to New Zealand

If you have already decided to buy an eSIM to travel to New Zealand, we recommend that you review the following features to get the most out of your virtual card and ensure you fully understand what the eSIM offers.

  • Most eSIM cards don’t offer analog calls, only data. But with the plans offered on the market, you can communicate by voice using apps like Skype or WhatsApp.
  • They can be installed only once, so if you are having problems with your eSIM card, don’t delete them from your cell phone. Instead, contact your eSIM provider.
  • Some eSIMs configure the APN automatically.
  • You can add multiple data plans on your iPhone, but this depends on the available memory, although it’s only possible to use one at a time.
  • Some eSIMs allow you to share data. 
  • You will have a dual-SIM iPhone, as you will be able to keep your local SIM when you travel. Remember to set up your iPhone to avoid surprise invoices. 

Mobile Internet coverage map for travel to New Zealand

Another important aspect when purchasing your eSIM to travel to New Zealand is to know the coverage offered because, depending on eSIM providers’ agreements, the internet connection usually varies. So keep in mind the eSIM providers’ coverage offered by domestic telecommunications companies. To help you, we show you the coverage map of these companies in New Zealand: 

  • 2degrees
  • Spark
  • Vodafone

2Degrees 4G coverage map in New Zealand

coverage map 2degrees
2Degrees coverage map in New Zealand. Source: 2degrees

Spark 4G coverage map in New Zealand

coverage map spark
Spark coverage map in New Zealand. Source: Spark

Vodafone 4G coverage map in New Zealand

coverage map vodafone
Vodafone coverage map in New Zealand. Source: GSMA.

Local cellphone operators offering eSIM in New Zealand

In case your visit to New Zealand is a bit long, for study or work reasons, you want to buy an eSIM because it’s much more practical and you can do so without any problem. Below we name the company that can help you with this procedure. Just remember that to carry out this process, you must meet certain requirements and documents stipulated by the company:

eSIM Spark for New Zealand.

This mobile operator was the first to bring eSIM technology to the country. As of today, they have four prepaid plans available ranging from 20$ to 80$ with data packages from 1.25 GB to 40 GB to be used in 28 days. In any of their versions, the prepaid plans have the possibility to request a SIM card or eSIM card. You can also request a new local number, or if you already have one, request to use it for your new card.

These plans and eSIM can be acquired through Spark’s website or in any of its physical stores. These prepaid plans automatically renew every 28 days unless you request otherwise. If you do not want to worry about having credit at the time of renewal, you can request that the charge be made automatically to the payment method you used when you purchased your plan and service.

Benefits of Spark eSIM in New Zealand.

In addition to offering a variety of plans that you can access, Spark gives you the possibility to include stream services such as Spotify, spark sport, or Neon for reduced costs if contracted at the time of requesting the prepaid plan and eSIM. Additionally, in any of the modalities, we have the possibility of a Hotspot and a so-called data stack that will give you 100MB of additional data each month that you keep the selected plan. As if that were not enough, when you sign up for one of the spark’s eSIMs, you will have at your fingertips:

  • Use two phone numbers on a dual SIM-capable device.
  • Download your eSIM to your phone and switch easily between supported networks as you travel.

How to activate a Spark eSIM in New Zealand.

As mentioned above, the first step to activate your eSIM is to select the plan of your convenience. If you make the purchase via the Web at Checkout, you must select eSIM as the format of your card. If the purchase is in a physical store, you must only request that the plan be activated through an eSIM card.

In any of the ways, you will receive your QR code for the eSIM card activation through your email or a voucher if it is in a store. After this, the activation process will change depending on your device’s model and operating system. Spark has a guide for all devices available on its website in case you are not related to this type of technology. Finally, we remind you that for the whole activation and configuration process, your device must have an internet connection.

eSIM 2degrees for New Zealand.

The country’s second-largest phone company also offers eSIM services for both prepaid and contract customers. For prepaid customers, there are six plan options to choose from, ranging from $10 for 250 MB in one month to $85 for 120 GB for 30 days as well. It is worth mentioning that if you make the purchase online, you will need a physical address in the country to receive your SIM card. After that, you will have to go to a 2degrees physical store to change it to an eSIM card.

2degrees prepaid plans in all versions include a local number. If you already have a local number, you can request directly at a physical store to transfer it to an eSIM card. In case you do not have an active plan you will be asked to select one of the available ones. If you have a prepaid plan, it will automatically renew if you have sufficient positive credit at the end of the 30 days of use of your service.

Benefits of 2degrees eSIM in New Zealand.

With 2degrees prepaid plans, you will be connected to 5G speeds in almost all the Zealand territory, besides having excellent coverage in all its borders. Additionally, all versions of the prepaid plans include unlimited messages to in-country numbers and unlimited calls to other 2degrees numbers. Finally, if you are a 2degrees customer with any of its plans, you will enjoy:

  • Free Data Hour every day (this must be configured in the Data clock App of the phone company to select the time of use)
  • 100 Carryover mins to NZ & Aussie
  • Lasts a whole month
  • Free Voicemail
  • Hotspotting included

How to activate a 2degrees eSIM in New Zealand.

If you are on a 2degrees personal Prepay or Pay Monthly plan, you must go to your nearest 2degrees store to set up your eSIM. In both cases, you will receive an eSIM voucher with a QR code printed on it. Once you have the QR code in hand, you will need to scan it on your phone to activate the eSIM card. Please note that you must have an internet connection during the process.

Sometimes after the eSIM has been downloaded, you may need to go back into the eSIM settings on your phone and tap Enable or Activate on your eSIM profile. You may also need to put your phone into and then out of Flight mode. After this, you will be enjoying 2degrees eSIM services. We recommend that you put the QR code for your eSIM in a handy place to locate it in the future if you ever need to download the eSIM profile again.

FAQ about eSIM in New Zealand 

We hope your trip to New Zealand is successful with your eSIM. Please, remember that if you have more doubts, we have included some common questions that travelers usually ask. If you have more questions, leave your comments so we can help you.

How is an International data eSIM different from a New Zealand eSIM?

Spark’s local eSIM is primarily intended for people living in New Zealand. The international eSIM for New Zealand from Holafly or WifiMap is used to connect to the internet during your trips to New Zealand.

Do I need a passport to buy the New Zealand eSIM card?

It’s not necessary to present a passport, but some providers do require your address. This applies only to the eSIM for tourists and not to the eSIM offered by Spark, who will ask for your information.

How to activate the eSIM for New Zealand?

After installing the virtual SIM profile, you must choose it as the default means of cellular data, activate data, and roaming, and your virtual SIM should now work.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

Yes, like physical cards, virtual SIMs also have an expiration date.

When does the eSIM data plan start?

From the moment you activate your eSIM, by scanning the QR code on your phone.

What is an eSIM or digital SIM?

The eSIM is the evolution of traditional SIM cards. The eSIM works due to a chip inserted in the cell phone, which allows the profile to be stored and configured. To learn more, we encourage you to read: what an eSIM is and how does it work.

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