Data Roaming in Australia for Tourists 2024: Rates & How to Avoid it

Navigating the world of data roaming in Australia can be a crucial consideration for travelers visiting the land down under.

everything about data roaming in australia

When you go to Australia, both tourists and business travelers need to know about data roaming. Data roaming in Australia can be expensive, with high costs, surprise fees, and the chance of running out of data. This guide is designed to give you a clear idea of your data roaming choices, other options you can use, and helpful advice to keep you connected without spending too much while you’re in Australia.

I. Overview of Data Roaming in Australia for Tourists

Data roaming in Australia can be an important consideration for tourists visiting the country. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about data roaming in Australia.

  • Roaming Prices: Data roaming costs between $10 to $30 per day.
  • Roaming Policies: Most big carriers in Australia let international visitors use their phones and data.
  • Activating Roaming: Ask your carrier to turn it on before you go. It’s usually easy.
  • Data Usage: Roaming data can be expensive, especially for streaming. Keep an eye on how much you use. Carriers have tools to help you track it.
  • Alternatives: To save money, consider buying an international SIM card in Australia or using a hotspot device for cheaper data.

II. How Does Data Roaming in Australia Work?

how roaming in australia work

Roaming in Australia lets you use your home mobile service when traveling around the country. Details can differ based on your provider, but here’s a basic guide:

Before you go:

  • Check with your provider: Ensure your phone and plan work in Australia and activate international roaming.
  • Explore plans: Choose a roaming plan that fits your needs, whether it’s a package deal or pay-per-use.

In Australia:

  • Connect to a network: Your phone should automatically connect, but you can manually select one if needed.
  • Use your phone: Make calls, send texts, and use data as usual, but be mindful of potential roaming charges.


  • Keep an eye on your call, text, and data usage to avoid unexpected costs.
  • Use Wi-Fi when possible and consider data limit options or local SIM cards.

III. Roaming Charges in Australia – Is It Expensive?

Yes, roaming rates in Australia are expensive. Before mentioning details, you should know 3 types of roaming:

  • Call: Making and receiving phone calls while in Australia.
  • SMS: Sending and receiving text messages while in Australia.
  • Data: Using mobile data while in Australia.

Now, let’s see the roaming price that Australia’s mobile operators offer:

OperatorCall (Local)Call (International)SMS (Local)SMS (International)Data

Note: These approximate rates may vary depending on the specific plan and provider.

IV. How to Activate Roaming Service for Australia in Your Cell Phone?

Here is a detailed guide on how to activate roaming service for Australia on your cell phone:

Step 1: Choose your preferred service provider

In Australia, for roaming, you can pick from Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. Here are their estimated fees:

  • Telstra: $10/day
  • Optus: $5/day
  • Vodafone: $15/day

Step 2: Activate the roaming function for your service provider

The process to activate roaming varies slightly between carriers. You had better refer to the official website of the chosen operator for more details.

E.g: For Vodafone: download My Vodafone app > find “International roaming” > select your country > Done.

Step 3: Buy a mobile package with roaming

All major Australian mobile providers offer roaming packages that include data, calls, and texts. You can compare plans and prices on their websites or in their apps.

Step 4: Turn on your phone’s roaming


  • Go to Settings > Network & internet > Mobile network.
  • Turn on “Data roaming”.


  • Go to Settings > Cellular.
  • Turn on “Data Roaming”.

Note: It's important to turn off roaming when you're not using it to avoid unnecessary charges.

V. How to Avoid Roaming Charges To Save Money When Traveling to Australia?

Traveling to Australia doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank on roaming charges. Here are some easy ways to avoid them:

  • Turn off data roaming to avoid extra charges.
  • Use Wi-Fi at hotels, cafes, or hotspots for free internet.
  • Stop automatic app updates; update over Wi-Fi instead.
  • Get a local SIM or eSIM for Australia to save money.
  • Watch your data use and set limits to prevent high bills.

Before you go, make sure your phone is unlocked so you can use a local SIM card. For eSIM, check the compatibility list to ensure your device supports it. This way, you can stay connected without the sticker shock.

VI. Australia eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in Australia to Get Internet

Travelers to Australia can skip expensive roaming with an international eSIM for cheap data plans, avoiding high charges. An eSIM means easy web browsing and contacting family with no extra fees. It’s also great for checking emails, getting directions, or streaming music, making it a cost-effective option for internet use in Australia.

esim australia gigago

The leading provider of prepaid eSIM plans for Australia is Gigago eSIM. For Australia, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1GB/day for 5 days with $10.50 .

What is great about Gigago’s Australia eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $10.50$141.50 . Thus, it does not matter how many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Australia, there is always an option for you with Gigago

VII. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in Australia?

The given steps are very clear for you guys to follow.

1. Android Phones

  • Settings Menu: Open your phone’s settings.
  • Connections: Tap on “Connections” or “Network & Internet.”
  • Mobile Networks: Select “Mobile Networks.”
  • Data Roaming: Find and toggle “Data Roaming” off.

2. iPhones

  • Settings App: Open the “Settings” app.
  • Cellular: Tap on “Cellular” or “Mobile Data.”
  • Cellular Data Options: Select “Cellular Data Options.”
  • Data Roaming: Toggle “Data Roaming” off.

VIII. FAQs about Data Roaming in Australia

Can I use my home internet plan in Australia?

Some mobile operators let you use your regular internet plan in Australia, but you might have to pay extra or only get a little bit of data.

What if I use too much internet while roaming in Australia?

If you use more internet than you’re allowed while in Australia, you might have to pay more or lose internet access until you buy more data or go back to your usual network.

How can I keep track of how much internet I’m using in Australia?

Most phone companies have tools or apps that help you check how much internet you’re using in Australia, so you don’t go over your limit and get charged extra.

IX. Conclusion

Data roaming in Australia is a convenient but potentially costly service for travelers. To avoid excessive charges, it’s crucial to understand your carrier’s roaming policies, purchase a suitable data package, or consider alternative options like a SIM card or eSIM. Careful monitoring of data usage and optimization techniques can also help minimize expenses while staying connected during your travels in Australia.