The Gold Coast has great mobile network coverage with numerous options for getting connected. Here are all the options.
Most cafes will offer free Wi-Fi and so should your hotel and if it doesn’t, chose another.
The Gold Coast city council offers free and fast Wi-Fi hotspots in
- Southport (Broadwater Parklands)
- Surfers Paradise from View Avenue to Laycock Street and the Esplanade to Surfers Paradise Blvd.
- Chevron Island – along Thomas Drive
- Broadbeach – along Old Burleigh Road, Albert Avenue, and Victoria Avenue.
- Miami – along Marine Parade
- Coolangatta – along the Marine Parade.
It is limited to 4GB per day and there is more info here. There is also free Wi-Fi at libraries.
Pre-Paid Mobile Internet Access
There are several network providers including Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. While Telstra is regarded as providing the best coverage across Australia especially in remote areas and smaller towns, all three networks provide good coverage of the Gold Coast city.
All three offer pre-paid sim cards which you can get for free and then add money (recharge) as you need.
Some sim starter kits come pre-loaded with credit and data with varying expiry times, so, for an international visitor, it may depend on how long you’ll be visiting Australia as to which package offers the best value. The expiry times can be 7 days, 28 days, 35 days, 6 months and 12 months, after which any free data/calls, etc included in the offer will expire and you need to recharge.
Also, note that sim cards are not region dependent like some countries, sim cards will work Australia wide wherever the network provider has coverage. If you want to check for coverage where you’ll be traveling see the coverage maps here Telstra, Optus, Vodafone.
Pre-paid offers change often, so check the links below for the latest offers
There are many companies which repackage services from the above three networks such as
- Boost Mobile (uses the Telstra 4G network) – boost.com.au
- Woolworths (uses the Telstra 4G network) – mobile.woolworths.com.au
- Aldi (uses the Telstra 4G network) – aldimobile.com.au
- Lyca Mobile (uses the Telstra 4G network) – lycamobile.com.au
- Amaysim (uses the Optus 4G network) – amaysim.com.au
- OVO (uses the Optus 4G network) – ovo.com.au
- Coles (uses the Optus 4G network) – coles.com.au
- Lebara (uses the Vodafone 4G network) – lebara.com.au
- TPG (uses the Vodafone 4G network) – tpg.com.au
- Hello Mobile (uses the Vodafone 4G network) – hellomobile.com.au
Which mobile network is the cheapest?
The offers vary and it will depend on your length of stay and data requirements as to which package will suit best. That said, data in Australia is expensive compared to other countries and many people get shocked by the cost, so leverage free WiFi where you can.
In reality, they are all somewhat similar in terms of pricing. Telstra is perhaps the most expensive and services like Amaysim are the cheapest. But again, it depends on your needs.
As a cost example, Optus currently has an offer of 35GB with 28-day expiry for $30 AUD.
Most services allow hotspot use, or tethering for basic data sharing but may not allow tethering on certain data offers such as streaming.
Where to buy sim cards?
You can buy sim cards at Gold Coast Airport or Brisbane Airport on arrival. At Gold Coast Airport there is an Optus store to help you with their services.
Otherwise, you can purchase a sim card at any 7-11, convenience stores, supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Aldi) and official network stores.
Note, when purchasing a sim card you will need to show identification. For international visitors, this will be your passport.
Will an Australian sim card work in my phone?
The sim cards are all multi-size so you should have no problems there.
All the networks are 4G (3G in some areas) and 5G is in stages of rollout.
The next question is the frequency which differs by country. You can check your phone specs to see if they match with the table below or enquire with the network in advance.
|Telstra||850MHz (B5)||700MHz (B28)
|Vodafone||900MHz (B8)||850MHz (B5)