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What’s the best mobile plan for travelling around Australia?

Collage of a woman in a smartphone emerging into a coastal environment. Clearly she's travelling.

Planning a trip around Australia? Amazing! Our beautiful country abounds with places to visit and things to do, so it’s important to have your phone so you can snap pics, stay connected, and have a way to reach home.

Luckily, there are loads of prepaid mobile plans to keep you going, no matter how cashed up. These deals load your SIM with a set amount of calls, texts, and data, and can be bought from a variety of providers. Just bring your own phone and get amongst it!

So whether you’re snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, driving the red remote Outback, or exploring our glittering cities, here are some of the best prepaid mobile plans for your travels in Australia, as tracked by our partner WhistleOut.

(If you're visiting our lovely beaches, waterproof your phone first!)

Mobile coverage in Australia

A young man walks through a countryside collage with his phone, a plane takes off in the background.

There are only three mobile networks in Australia: Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. All three offer 3G/4G/5G network access and fairly comprehensive cover across the nation.

Telstra boasts the largest network, reaching 99.5% of populated Australia, while Optus and Vodafone follow at 98.5% and 96% coverage, respectively. 

While more coverage can seem like a no-brainer, it depends on where you’re travelling. All three are very comparable in the cities, and relatively smaller networks like Vodafone generally offer fair dinkum cheaper deals. It’s all about comparing what’s available and what you need for your trip.

RELATED: Mobile terms you'll need to know – in Australian!

There are countless smaller providers, too, who will usually offer cheaper prepaid deals for limited features, but their networks piggyback off the big three.

Additionally, 5G network access is almost exclusively available through the big three providers on eligible plans and phones. Good to know!

Cheap prepaid SIM plans for backpackers and budgeters

A man stands on a collage of a boulder in the middle of a lake, gazing at the sunset over the hills.

If you’re travelling on a dime across Australia, there are plenty of prepaid mobile options available with decent data and expiration dates. No sense paying for more than what you need, hey?

Here are some deals on offer for less than $20.

Prepaid SIM plans with lots of data

Four hands hold out phones with cartoon collage colourful speech bubbles pouring out of them.

Live-streaming your travels? Or just don’t want to settle for your hostel’s patchy WiFi? Luckily, there are heaps of prepaid options available for you with generous data allowances. Some even offer unlimited data (usually at capped speeds after a certain amount).

Compare a selection of deals below to stay connected.

Prepaid SIM plans with international calls

A woman takes a selfie while walking through a city, travelling with her dog.

ET phone home? No worries, mate! These plans offer international minutes as part of their package. Be aware they’ll all usually have limits, such as which countries and numbers you can call and how many minutes you get.

Compare deals below to see what could suit your needs best.

How to buy prepaid mobile plan SIMs in Australia

Three people grin at their phones as they buy prepaid mobile phone deals in Australia (collage).

You can buy a prepaid mobile plan at pretty much any mobile provider store in Australia. Our international airports will usually have stores for each of the big three providers (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone), so you can grab one at the terminal.

Convenience stores (called ‘servos’ in Aussie) and grocery stores will often stock prepaid SIMs, too, so you’re sure not to miss out. 

If you’re out of the country and would like to be prepared, most of the big providers will take Paypal or other international payment methods for online purchases. So long as you have an address to receive it (be it a friend or family member), you can order ahead of time and hit the ground running.

Keen on a prepaid mobile plan? Browse and compare starter packs below.

Prepaid mobile phone starter packs

Evlin DuBose
Evlin DuBose
Senior Money Writer

Evlin, RG146 Generic Knowledge certified and a UTS Communications graduate, is a leading voice in finance news. As Mozo's go-to writer for RBA and interest rates, her work regularly features in Google's Top Stories and major publications like