Top 5 ways to stay connected to the internet in New Zealand for free

Although we like to spend as much time as possible enjoying the countries we visit, we also like to have regular access to the internet. We find that staying in touch with people at home, checking out the local restaurants and bars as well as getting directions and reserving things online makes for a much nicer travel experience. And it can easily be achieved with a little internet magic.

However, when we are traveling we do have a limited budget so paying out $5-10 for a few MBs is not something we want to do on a regular basis. Therefore, we became very good at scanning the airways for free internet. Here are our top 5 ways to stay connected in NZ for free!


Libraries – most public libraries provide free wifi during opening hours. There is usually no limit to the data that you can use and the speeds are generally good.

+ speed good, generous data, looking up local books is also great

– only available during opening hours

New World supermarket – usually very easy to find in most major towns. The use is limited to 50 MB but you can log in again to get 50 MB more. Download speed is average but uploads were very fast. Sadly we only found New World’s on the South Island had free wifi and those in the North did not.

+ speed average, easy to find

– South Island only?

Youth Hostels or backpackers accommodation – most backpackers accommodation and youth hostels have some type of free wifi. They know what the kids want. The speed and data can vary but there is usually no charge.

+ speed average, easy to find

– quality and quantity varies

McDonald’s – the golden arches has free wifi but we found it was often slow to connect especially on an iPhone and that data was limited.

+ sadly easy to find

– slow, you usually have to purchase something (or go inside) to get access

City centres – many CBDs, such as Auckland and Wellington, have free wifi. Other towns such as Queenstown offer try-it-for-free connections that are limited to 30 minutes or 15 minutes etc…



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