Buying prepaid SIM card in Australia
Buying an Australian prepaid SIM card can drastically reduce your phone expenses while traveling to this country thus we highly recommend it.
In Australia there are three major mobile network operators (not including their resellers):
While Telstra seems to have the best coverage it also tends to have higher prices, so if you travel mainly through large cities we recommend using Optus as the cheaper option.
If you travel a lot to the countryside we recommend Telstra, however, while it offers the best coverage in rural areas.
Vodafone is the smallest main operator in Australia, but they sometimes offer generous promotions so if you spend most of your travel time in large cities make sure to check out their website for current offers.
Where to buy an Australian SIM card
You can buy an Australian SIM card at the carriers' retail stores, airports, supermarkets, electronic stores, gas stations and convenience stores.
You can also order your prepaid SIM card online, but for this you need an Australian address and it can take anywhere from one to five working days for the card to arrive depending on where you stay at.
How to register
In Australia SIM card registration is mandatory. You can do it online using the designated registration service (please check your operator's website for more details) or at the shop where you buy the card. You'll need your passport number and an Australian address for the registration. You can use your hotel address for this. Your card will be registered and ready to use after a couple of minutes.
How to top up
In Australia you can top up online or at any store that sells top-up vouchers. Optus, Telstra and Vodafone top-ups are generally available everywhere.
However, we recommend against using online top-up services hence some operators tend to setup automatic renewal on your account and if you forget to cancel if before leaving Australia you will be charged for the next period after your credit expires.
Please make sure that your phone is unlocked prior traveling to Australia and that it supports 3G connectivity because as of June 2018 the 2G phones no longer work in Australia.