Buying Spark SIM Cards and eSIM for Tourists in 2024

Whether you are traveling to New Zealand for adventure or to visit relatives, having a reliable Internet connection is important to stay in touch and navigate the country. Spark SIM cards and eSIM will help you enjoy your trip around New Zealand to the fullest. Let us discuss which option is the best for you and how to purchase and activate affordable prepaid Spark physical SIM and eSIM options.

spark sim cards

I. Quick Facts about Spark

Spark is the one of largest mobile network operators in New Zealand. Here are some main facts about Spark you may need to know:

  • Founded: in 1987, originally called Telecom New Zealand
  • Full company name: Spark New Zealand Limited.
  • Types of services: mobile phone services, fixed-line telephone services, broadband services, and digital technology services
  • Coverage: 98% of New Zealand
  • Number of users: over 2 million mobile users, more than 700,000 customers for Internet at home
  • Distribution: 63 stores around New Zealand, 16 of these stores in Auckland
  • Customer support: 24/7 support by live chat or by phone
  • Language: English
Spark is the one of largest mobile network operators in New Zealand
Spark – One of largest mobile network operators in New Zealand

II. Why Spark When Visiting New Zealand – Coverage and Speed

Spark boasts the most extensive coverage across New Zealand and has fast speeds.

1. Spark Coverage in New Zealand

Spark boasts the most extensive coverage across New Zealand
Spark Coverage Map (Source: nPerf)
  • Spark has the most widespread 4G/5G network coverage across both North and South Islands of New Zealand;
  • It has the most robust and most advanced cellular network in New Zealand;
  • Its networks reach main cities and most small towns, however, signals may be a bit limited in very remote rural areas.

2. Spark Speed

Spark has fast speeds in New Zealand
Spark Speed in New Zealand (Source: OpenSignal)
  • Average download speed: the fastest at 44.9Mbps (Opensignal, October 2023), followed by 2degrees (39.8Mpbs) and One NZ (38.8Mbps)
  • Average upload speed: 8.0Mbps
  • Consistency: 68.2%, led by 2degrees (69.6%) and One NZ (69.2%)

Generally, Spark offers the most complete mobile experience across New Zealand due to its widest coverage and fastest download speeds. Spark allows tourists to New Zealand to stay connected in almost places and use mobile data seamlessly.

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Spark for Travelers to New Zealand?

Visitors to New Zealand may access Spark’s mobile networks with three main connectivity options, including:

Spark SIM cards: SIM in a tangible form, can be inserted into unlocked mobile devices

  • Pros: attractive rates for mobile services (data, text, and call); diverse plans to choose
  • Cons: unlocked phone required

Spark roaming: utilize home carrier while exploring New Zealand

  • Pros: no SIM swap, familiar home carrier, home plan, and phone number
  • Cons: extremely expensive, shockingly pricey phone bills

Pocket Wifi: portable Wifi hotspot, may be rented from phone stores

  • Pros: no SIM swap, Internet sharing between various devices like laptops, phones, tablets, etc.
  • Cons: things to carry, costly rental fees

► Recommendation:

We can see that Spark SIM cards are the best choice for tourists to get the Internet. Tourists can easily purchase SIM plans and can rely on it wherever they go. They make staying connected while traveling simple and stress-free compared to roaming or pocket Wifi rentals.

IV. Best Spark SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

This table shows some of the most popular Spark SIM cards for tourists – Spark Travel Packs.

Value PackNZD $201.25GB data, unlimited NZ texts, 200 minutes28 days
Value PackNZD $302GB of data + 2GB socializer, unlimited NZ texts, 300 minutes28 days
Travel PackNZD $29– 2GB data;- 200 NZ only & 100 international minutes;- 200 NZ only and 100 international texts3 months
Travel PackNZD $49– 10GB data;- 200 NZ only & 200 international minutes; – 200 NZ only and 200 international texts3 months
Travel PackNZD $79– 50GB data; – unlimited NZ only & 200 international minutes; – unlimited NZ only and 200 international texts3 months
Travel PackNZD $129– endless data; – unlimited NZ only & 300 international minutes; – unlimited NZ only and 300 international texts3 months

Important Note:
The international call minutes and texts are used to call or text Canada, USA, China, Hong Kong, Japan, UK, etc. For the most detailed and accurate information, check Spark NZ’s official website.

V. Does Spark Support eSIM in New Zealand?

Yes. Spark supports eSIM, an embedded SIM that is built-in to your mobile phone, watch, or tablet. It means that there is no more plastic and swapping physical SIM cards when traveling. 

  • Dual-SIM feature: Use two different phone numbers on a dual-SIM mobile device.
  • Connect other devices: Phones, tablets, watches, and laptops can all get online with Spark network.
  • Smooth connections: Download the eSIM onto your phone. Then switch between networks easily as you travel from place to place.

To purchase an eSIM for New Zealand, you may:

  • Download eSIM plan directly from Spark’s website. ID proof is needed.
  • Get from a trusted third-party eSIM provider. Onine purchase with no identity check.

► Recommendation:

Buying a New Zealand eSIM from a third-party reseller is much more convenient for visitors. Spark does not guarantee that eSIM will work on devices that were not bought from Spark. So you should consider Gigago – a prestigious eSIM reseller that offers eSIM in over 200 countries around the world.

  • No identity check
  • No store visit
  • Simple online download and set up process
  • Gigago eSIM plans for New Zealand are diverse, starting at only $10.50 for 1GB/day over 5 days and varying from $10.50$141.50 . It is recommended to choose the eSIM plan that best meets your needs.
  • 24/7 multilingual client support
Gigago offers a range of competitive eSIM plans for New Zealand
Gigago eSIM plans for New Zealand

Pro Tip: Most recent cell phone models support eSIM technology. Check out our latest eSIM-compatible devices list.

VI. Where to Buy a Spark SIM cards and eSIM?

Getting Spark SIM cards and eSIM is straightforward. Check out the locations below:

1. Where to Buy Spark SIM Cards for New Zealand?

1.1. Upon arrival at New Zealand airports

Travelers may get Spark SIM cards at:

Pros: immediate Internet when you reach New Zealand, convenient

Cons: higher rates than online or in cities

Buy Spark SIM cards at Auckland International Airport
Spark store in the duty-free area at Auckland Airport

1.2. Spark shops and authorized resellers

Spark possesses 63 stores around New Zealand, including 16 stores in Auckland. These stores provide a wide range of Spark SIM card options at very competitive rates. You can commute to one of these stores to purchase the most suitable SIM plan for your New Zealand trip.

Pros: budget-friendly prices, widely available

Cons: need to find and visit the locations

2. Where to Buy Spark eSIM for New Zealand?

Tourists to New Zealand may buy Spark eSM via

  • Online service on Spark’s official website
  • Use MySpark app
  • Get to the nearest Spark shop

Pro Tips:

  • Prepare your passport and NZD cash and debit/credit card for SIM purchase and registration.
  • You should visit city stores to buy New Zealand Spark SIM cards for more options and better deals.

VII. How to Activate Spark SIM/eSIM in New Zealand?

Follow these steps and you will activate your Spark SIM card or eSIM successfully:

1. How to Activate Spark SIM Cards in New Zealand?

To activate your Spark SIM card:

  • Insert Spark SIM into unlocked phone
  • Switch on your mobile phone
  • Follow prompts to activate Spark SIM – The Spark SIM should automatically activate
  • Check the data settings if the mobile data does not work
  • Now your Spark SIM is ready to use

2. How to Activate Spark eSIM?

To activate Spark eSIM:

  • Check that your phone supports Spark eSIM
  • Purchase a Spark eSIM online
  • Spark emails you a QR code
  • Scan QR code using MySpark app or your phone settings (Settings > Cellular > eSIM/celluar plan)
  • Set up Spark eSIM profile
  • Now your eSIM is ready and you can use Spark mobile services including data, calling, and texting

Important Notes:

Please follow the detailed instructions:

VIII. Alternatives to New Zealand Spark SIM cards

In addition to Spark SIM cards, travelers can choose to get SIM cards for their New Zealand trip from other major network providers in the country such as One NZ and 2degrees.

  • One NZ: extensive coverage across New Zealand (ranks 2nd after Spark), competitive plans starting at just NZD 15 – USD 9, valid for 28 days.
  • 2degrees: Plans from this carrier offer decent data and call minutes for the price.
  • Tourists may also choose to buy eSIM from Gigago for the best value and flexibility.

IX. FAQs about Spark SIM cards and eSIM

Can tourists purchase a Spark SIM card or eSIM upon arrival in New Zealand?

Yes, tourists can purchase prepaid Spark SIM cards and eSIM from the airport or any Spark store after arriving in New Zealand.

How do you activate a Spark eSIM for tourists?

Tourists can purchase an eSIM from the Spark website and easily activate it by following the instructions in the confirmation email.

What devices can I use a Spark eSIM on?

Spark eSIMs are compatible with many recent iPhone and Android smartphones. Be sure to check that your device supports eSIM beforehand. The Spark team can also advise which devices are compatible when purchasing an eSIM online or in-store.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, Spark SIM cards and eSIM are very convenient options for tourists to stay connected in New Zealand. Whether using a prepaid Spark SIM card or downloading an eSIM plan, visitors gain reliable coverage nationwide at affordable rates. Remember to choose the SIM option and plan that suits your needs and trip duration the most.