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Renting a Cell Phone

Can you do without a cell phone on your holiday? These days, not many people can. Here are some options for using a cell phone during your New Zealand campervan holiday.

Renting a Cellphone in New Zealand

Of course you can always use your own cell phone in New Zealand. If it operates on a standard 900 MHz frequency (or if you own a phone that supports multiple frequency bands: a dual-band or tri-band gsm) you will be able to use your phone on New Zealand’s network. That is, if your cell phone is not blocked for global roaming and international dialing. The advantage of doing this is that your friends and family can reach you by dialing your own cell phone number – very convenient! The big disadvantage, however, is that it is quite an expensive option. First, you have to pay for all incoming calls and second, every time you use your phone for a local call (in New Zealand), you will be charged for an international call to your home country.

So here’s what we suggest:

  • Rent a New Zealand cell phone
    For most people, renting a cell phone is a good option for staying in touch with their relatives at home. Vodafone has rental locations in all of the major airports: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, where you can pick up your New Zealand cell phone on arrival. By booking in advance, you’ll know your cellphone number before you leave home – again, very convenient for your friends and family. And all incoming calls are free! OR
  • Rent a SIM card
    If you own an (unblocked) cell phone that operates on a gsm 900 network, you can also rent a SIM card with Vodafone. Put this card in your own cell phone, and you’ll immediately have access to Vodafone’s local network. Of course, all incoming calls are free. Try to book in advance, so you’ll know what your new cell phone number will be before you leave for New Zealand. OR
  • Buy a prepaid SIM card
    Finally, you can consider buying a prepaid SIM card over the internet or from a Vodafone outlet (such as post offices and shops). But again: you’ll need a SIM-unlocked compatible cell phone, same as for the second option. With a prepaid card too, all incoming calls are free. When you’ve used your airtime credit, you can easily top up your card over the phone or with a prepaid recharge card. The only disadvantage of this option is that the amount that’s still on your card when you leave the country cannot be refunded.
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