Australian Prepaid SIM card options
What is the best prepaid SIM card for Australia?
For the best network coverage and data speeds Telstra has the bets coverage and speed - particularly if you are speeding lots of time outside big cities. Telstra won't allow an international visitor to register the SIM prior to arriving in Australia (see below).
OPTUS is the second biggest carrier in Australia.
OPTUS is now our top recommendation,
Telstra won't promise as good value for money as other networks, but their prepaid plans will still provide plenty of call, SMS and data.
The main problem with Telstra is activation prior to arrival in Australia. They won't allow you to use a International passport+Visa number, if they Visa hasn't entered the country yet.
You can try requesting Telstra customer service reps to activate for you via their online chat service - sometimes this will work (mixed results), but really you can only do it yourself online post-entry. The Visa system updates that you have arrived relatively quickly (most times within an hour, or at latest 2-3 hours), and you can quickly activate and register your SIM online as an international visitor.
It may be still worth buying a Telstra SIM prior to arriving in Australia if you are spending lots of time in rural Australia, as they can be very hard to purchase at the airport due other telco companies having exclusive retail rights at the airport (ie you won't find a Telstra store at the airport).
For more info on the Telstra product visit the Telstra Prepaid product page here.
AMAYSIM provides a very good value for money proposition, and runs on the Optus network, which whilst having solid coverage (second biggest network in Australia), you may find lacking in rural and regional areas.
AMAYSIM has a very consumer friendly range of PAYG and Cap plans that provide plenty of calls, SMS, data and good international calling rates also. You can find out more on our AMAYSIM product page here.