I was fortunate enough to be able to pop across to Sydney this week for a few days. And if you are as inseparable from your smartphone as I am, then the thought of the Global Roaming data bill will make you feel slightly ill. You should check your data roaming costs before you leave – pricing info is here for Telecom, Vodafone, and 2degrees.
To get around any large bill, I picked up a $30 prepaid microsim at the Sydney airport for my iPad which gave me 4GB of local 3G data for 30 days, and then I could use this as a hotspot for my iPhone (note – you need an unlocked phone). I actually also got a $30 Prepaid iPhone SIM which included 500MB data, calls and SMS messages for 28 days, but if your main worry is the smartphone data bill then hotspotting off the iPad will work fine and you can continue to use your NZ mobile number for calls and SMS messages. Another alternative is to use an Australian SIM, and change your voicemail message to direct callers to your Australian number – it really depends on how many calls you typically receive. Also, remember to take a screen grab of your Network & APN settings before swapping SIM cards. And store your NZ SIMs in a safe place so you can find them when you arrive back home (some people tape them inside their passports).
Availability of free Wifi seemed to be abundant as well, however if you are an on-the-go-girl like myself then the freedom of a local 3G connection will be appreciated. And for $30 it wont break the bank.