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Phones and Phone Cards

Mobile Phones

If you are planning on entering Australia on a 12 month Visa, or intending to work and temporarily live there, it is recommended that you invest in a mobile phone as soon as you can.

Just having a phone or phone card makes life ten times easier when arranging accomodation, applying for jobs, or planning your Australian trip. It will also save you lots of money in the long run by not using your UK phone.

Here we have included advice on buying a mobile or SIM card as well as price ideas and available networks. We have also suggested available phone cards so you can easily stay in contact with friends and family back at home.

The section on useful phone numbers is also worth a look in case you are ever involved in an emergency.

Click below to be taken to the relevant section:

Phones and Networks

There are several options available to you, you can either purchase a completely new phone or just a SIM card. If you chose to buy a SIM card make sure you have paid to have your phone unlocked while you are at home. Some find it easier and just as cheap to purchase a new phone altogether. Prices for a new phone start from as low as £30 (A$60) and you can sell it on to another backpacker when you're ready to leave the country.

You can find mobile phone outlets in all big cities. Click on each website to find out exact locations. Alternatively you can order a SIM card and have it sent to an Australian address ready for your arrival. If you don't have an address use the Poste Restante service which will keep your mail for up to 1 month.

Optus Communications
Phones: Phones start from $69 (includes $10 credit).
Rates:Credit is $30, $50 or £100 credit expires after a certain length of time.

Telstra MobileNet
Phones: Phones start at $99 with $10 credit.
Rates: Credit expires after certain time.

Virgin Mobile
Phones: Phones start from $59
Rates: There are 4 options view here. The more expensive the calls the less likely your credit is to expire. Assess on how much you are likely to use the phone. All calls have 25c initial connection (flagfall)

Phones: From $79 including $10 credit.
Rates: Max of 40c / min 25c text. Cost decreases with larger prepay credit plus free texts etc. Or 20c calls to other Vodafone. Connection fee of 20c per call. *

3 / Orange
Phones: Text: 25c (+ free texts)
Rates:20c for 10 mins to other 3 phones within broadband zone. Or 49c / 30sec and 20c flagfall

* You will not be able to use an Australian Vodafone SIM card in your UK Vodafone phone unless you have unlocked the phone, however it should work the other way around.

Phone Cards

If you want to keep in contact with friends and family back at home, it is recommended that you invest in a phone card.

There are lots of deals and phone cards to chose from but it will definitely save you money in the long run. We found the best ones and have outlined them below. You can purchase these from Global Gossip stores around Australia. If you had a good phone card while you were travelling Australia, please let us know.

  • Global Gossip
  • Talking Cow
  • Sun & Moon
  • Splash
  • Global Community

Useful Telephone Numbers

Here is a list of phone numbers which could come in useful when visiting or travelling around Australia:

  • 000
    Emergency services: Ambulance, Fire, Police
  • 112
    112 is the GSM standard satelite emergency service number for use with GSM digital mobile phones. Use this number in an emergency if you do not have a normal phone signal. The provider can tell you if you are able to access 112 from your CDMA phone.
  • 13 11 26
    Poisons Information Centre (for stings or bites) - Also call Emergency services.
  • +61
    This is the Australian dialing code (for friends and relatives abroad).