Auckland Airport (AKL) is New Zealand’s largest airport with more than 20 million passengers traveling through it annually. A lot of passengers arriving at Auckland Airport require SIM cards for their phones so that they can be connected throughout their journey. This article aims to offer a complete understanding of where one can purchase SIM cards from Auckland Airport and the best SIM card options that one can choose from.

SIM card at Auckland Airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Auckland Airport

There are several places to purchase SIM cards once you arrive at Auckland Airport, carrier stores such as Spark, and One NZ or convenience stores such as Relay and PB Tech.

1. Spark Store 

Auckland International Airport has the Spark Store and it is in the duty-free area away from security checks. It sells a variety of goods that include travel-specific goods and services.

There are very friendly staff at Spark Store who are always willing to guide you on the appropriate product or service to select. Spark Store is a reliable and convenient place to purchase a SIM card at Auckland Airport.

  • Opening hours: 4.30 AM –  2.30 AM, 7 days a week.
  • Detailed location: International Terminal – Ground Floor, before security, Duty-free area
  • Language Support: English
  • Payment Methods: Cash, Credit/Debit Card
Spark store at Auckland Airport
Spark store at Auckland Airport

2. One NZ Store 

One NZ Store offers a wide range of products and services, including NZ Travel Packs, which include a One NZ SIM card, data, and calls.

There are 3 One NZ locations in the airport terminal for international flights. Two small kiosk stores are located before passport control in the Aelia Duty-Free area. The third store is located on the arrivals side in the international terminal area after passport control.

  • Opening hours: 5.30 AM – 2 AM, 7 days a week 
  • Detailed location: International Terminal – Ground Floor, before security
  • Language Support: English, Chinese
  • Payment Methods: Cash, Credit/Debit Card, Eftpos, China Union Pay
One NZ in Auckland Airport
One NZ in Auckland Airport

3. Relay Store 

If you arrive in New Zealand outside the Spark Store’s hours, you can simply just pick up a SIM card at the Relay Store. There is also a basic local SIM card and plan that is quite cheap as an option for budget travelers.

  • There are 3 Relay stores in Auckland Airport:
    • Domestic Terminal (before security): 5 AM – 9 PM
    • International Terminal (first floor, before security): 4 AM – 11 PM
    • International Terminal (ground floor, before security): 24 hours (from 13 November)
    • International Terminal (first floor, after security): 4.30 AM – 11 PM
    • International Terminal (pier A, after security): 4.30 AM – 11 PM
  • Language Support: English
  • Payment Methods: Cash, Credit/Debit Card
Relay store at Auckland Airport
Relay store at Auckland Airport

4. PB Tech Store

Considering that you need lots of Data you can also buy the SIM card from the PB Tech Store. For travelers looking for connectivity options on the go, the store has plans going up as high as 100GB of data.

  • Opening hours: 4.30 AM – 10 PM
  • Detailed location: International Terminal – First Floor, after security
  • Language Support: English
  • Payment Methods: Cash, Credit/debit card
PB Tech store at Auckland Airport
PB Tech store at Auckland Airport

Make sure that you carry with you your unlocked phone and a passport when going to buy your SIM regardless of where it is. There are also opened in the morning to the late hours of the evening due to the flight schedules.

II. New Zealand Auckland Airport SIM Card Options and Costs

Three major telecom providers in New Zealand offer prepaid SIM cards:

Operators SIM Card Plan Price (USD) Data Local Calls Messages Validity Total Cost with SIM (USD)
2degrees 2degrees Prepay ~$6 250MB 100 mins yo NZ & Aussie Unlimited Texts to NZ & Aussie 1 month ~$6
~$11 3GB 200 mins to NZ & Aussie Unlimited Texts to NZ & Aussie 1 month ~$11
~$18 6GB 300 mins to NZ & Aussie Unlimited Texts to NZ & Aussie 1 month ~$18
Spark Spark Travel Pack ~$17 2GB 200 NZ Only. 100 Int'l 200 NZ Only. 100 Int'l 3 months ~$17
~$29 10GB 200 NZ Only. 100 Int'l 200 NZ Only. 100 Int'l 3 months ~$29
~$46 50GB Unlimited NZ, 200 Int'l Unlimited NZ, 200 Int'l 3 months ~$46
~$76 Unlimited Unlimited NZ, 300 Int'l Unlimited NZ, 300 Int'l 3 months ~$76
One NZ ONE NZ Travel SIM ~$17 2GB 200 mins 200 SMS 30 days ~$20
~$28 10GB Unlimited in NZ 200 SMS 60 days ~$31
~$40 40GB Unlimited in NZ 200 SMS 60 days ~$43
Prepay Popular Combos ~$8 1GB 100 mins Unlimited NZ & Aus 28 days ~$9
~$11 1.5GB 200 mins Unlimited NZ & Aus 28 days ~$12
~$17 3GB 300 mins Unlimited NZ & Aus 28 days ~$18
~$23 8GB 100 mins Unlimited NZ & Aus 28 days ~$24

When choosing your SIM, consider data needs and coverage for where you’ll travel. You can also purchase SIMs at downtown Auckland shops later.

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Auckland Airport

Here are some tips on what to have ready when purchasing your prepaid SIM card after landing at Auckland Airport:

  • Get a passport and a visa. One needs this to open a mobile phone account in New Zealand.
  • Know your phone’s unlock status. In case your phone has carrier lock, you have to unlock it for New Zealand SIM card usage.
  • Have a form of payment. Credit and debit cards are accepted alongside NZ cash at most SIM card retailers available at Auckland airport.

You should also consider noting down your phone’s IMEI number. The retailer will require this number to activate your sim card hence making it unique to your phone.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Auckland Airport

eSIM is digitally activated whereas many airports still use physical SIM cards. Here are some of the benefits of using an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card at Auckland Airport:

  • Convenience: Luckily, eSIMs are preordered and pre-activated. This means that you won’t need to look for a SIM card retailer within the airport.
  • Choice: Unlike physical SIM cards, there is a wide variety of eSIM plans to choose from depending on your needs.
  • Flexibility: You will also be able to use eSIMs, which can be quickly switched from one operator to another should you find a better deal.
  • Sustainability: eSIMs are friendlier to the environment because they do not use any plastic or packaging like that of the physical SIMS.

Although eSIM tech is in the early steps, it is a promising future substitute for the physical SIM cards at airports. Kindly note that not every handset has eSIM compatibility.

Go to the New Zealand eSIM Compatible Devices List to find out if eSIMs are supported by your phone.

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V. FAQs about SIM Card at Auckland Airport

Do I need to show my passport to get a SIM card at Auckland airport?

Yes, your passport will be required as proof of identity when purchasing and registering a prepaid SIM card in New Zealand.

Can I use my existing SIM card from home in New Zealand?

Most regular SIM cards are locked to a specific home network. You’ll want to purchase a local prepaid New Zealand SIM for cheaper rates. But check your provider’s roaming policies.

How can I set up an eSIM for New Zealand before arrival?

Some providers like esimnewzealand.com allow you to order an eSIM profile online in advance. No need to provide your passport details and we email a QR activation code to scan on landing.

Are there SIM vending machines at Auckland airport?

Currently, there are no SIM card vending machines, only staffed stores and shops. Automated options may be added in the future.

What if I run out of data on my prepaid SIM card?

Top-up vouchers can be purchased at many convenience stores and petrol stations around New Zealand to add more data or minutes to your SIM.

VI. Final words

Upon arrival in Auckland, get a prepaid SIM from major providers like Spark, One NZ, or 2degrees. Research plans and prices in advance. Have an unlocked phone, passport, and payment ready. Determine data needs before traveling as eSIM options are still limited. Follow these steps to stay connected once in New Zealand.