Will my mobile phone work in Australia?
Chances are your mobile phone will work in Australia, however, you have a few different options if you want to stay connected during your travels - activate your international roaming (or your mobile phone's data roaming plan), connect to local wifi, or purchase an Australian SIM card and join a local network.
While Australian GSM frequencies are different to the networks used in the United States and the United Kingdom, most major mobile brands such as Apple and Samsung have introduced models that are compatible with international networks making searching the internet, uploading to Instagram, and contacting your loved ones easier than ever.
Most states and regions in Australia have pretty good mobile coverage, however, there are certainly several areas that experience little to no coverage at all. These areas include remote parts of each state (more specifically wilderness regions in the Northern Territory, far north Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia), as well as any national parks or high mountainous regions such as Mount Buller in Victoria and the Blue Mountains in New South Whales. Make sure you plan ahead by downloading any important documents you might need including booking confirmation, accommodation details, and area maps/directions before you move out of network range.
Buying a SIM card in Australia
It's extremely easy to purchase a SIM card in Australia as they're readily available in most Australian airports, each mobile phone provider's standalone stores, Australia post stores (Australia's national postal service), supermarkets, or other electronic retailers. Australia has three main mobile phone providers - Vodafone, Telstra, and Optus - all of which operate using 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G frequency bands on the GSM network.
Before your travels, it's wise to check whether your mobile phone network is locked. If it is, contact your local mobile phone provider to unlock it as your phone may not be able to accept Australian SIM cards if it remains locked. Some mobile phone providers don't offer phones that are locked to a specific network so you may not need to worry about this before heading to Australia, however, it's important to check to ensure a smooth transition to local Australian networks and to make sure you can still use your phone during your travels.
Our Australia trips