What is Cellphone & TV coverage like in New Zealand?

Overall, New Zealand has good cellphone coverage, with three major providers, Telecom, Vodafone and 2Degrees along with several smaller operators providing the digital service.

Cellphones and SIM cards can be picked up at our major airports upon entry into the country as required. Most major malls have Telecom and Vodophone outlets where phones and cards may be obtained.

Both Telecom and Vodaphone offer a txt message service for visitors, allowing you to send your location updates and movements to a central database. Here the data is stored and can be accessed by New Zealand Police in the event of a family emergency at home or any situation where they may need to contact you. That number is 7233 (SAFE).

As is the case within most countries, there are areas where cellphone signals can not penetrate. This is particularly so in the mountainous areas of New Zealand. If you intend hiking in the wilderness, do not depend on a cellphone for communication in an emergency. Mountain radios, and ELB’s (Emergency Locator Beacons) can be rented for the duration of your hike for a reasonable fee.

Television coverage in most areas is reasonably good, however, in hilly or mountainous areas as with cellphones, coverage may be limited or non-existent.