Using Mobile Phones & Australian SIM cards while Backpacking around Australia

Using Mobile Phones while backpacking around Australia

A mobile phone is a necessity for anybody backpacking in Australia. Even if you're only staying for a short period it's still highly advisable to get an Australian SIM card and compatible mobile phone. At the very least, having a number you can be contacted on and use to make emergency calls is an absolute must!

Other than keeping in contact with your friends/family, most people will need a mobile phone for arranging activities, getting work opportunities and making bookings amongst many other things.

Who provides the mobile phone networks in Australia and how do I get an Australian SIM card?

There are 3 main network providers in Australia Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone. Each company offers different deals on prepaid or contract phones which you will need to research and compare. As usual the coverage varies between networks but the main 3 are generally quite good in the more densely populated areas.

It should be mentioned at this stage that there is almost no advantage to getting an Australian SIM card until you arrive in Australia. Getting a SIM card is easy, simply visit a shop in town and get one from one of the big three companies mentioned above. They have shop fronts in all the major cities/towns in Australia, so once the jet lag has worn off, take a walk into town and get one.

SIM cards can also be ordered online but it means you have to wait for it to be delivered to the hostel (or wherever you are staying). Unless you really need to get your SIM this way, take the simple option and visit a shop in town instead.

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