Calling US from New Zealand

Sep 18th, 2002, 08:31 AM
Paula Parker
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Calling US from New Zealand

Message: We will be in New Zealand for 3 weeks next February, and then Sydney for an additional week. My husband will need to keep in touch with his office some of that time. I'm sure there are plenty of internet cafes, and faxes (for the fax should we ask at the hotels or B & B's to use theirs and pay them?) The main question he has is in regard to making calls back to the US as inexpensively as possible. I've checked out rented cell phones, and the cost per minute for overseas calls is HIGH! What type of phone cards are available there? Are they challenging to use, as are some in Europe!?
Does anyone have any firsthand iformation on this, and an estimate of the cost. For example does a NZ$20 card give you 10 International minutes, etc.? I know someone will know all this information, and I would be most appreciative if they would let me know!!

Thanks in advance,


Sep 18th, 2002, 08:45 AM
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Hey Paula,

We just got back last month & we had the same situation. What I did was buy phonecards before we left the states. It ended up being a pretty good deal ($0.63/min) whereas my cell phone was $2/min.

Walgreens usually has MCI cards on sale every couple weeks. Buy 1 $10 card get 1 free. With all the fees, you get about 16 minutes/calling card. It has all the information on the package on how to dial from a Australia & NZ to the US.

Have fun!

Sep 18th, 2002, 11:41 AM
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Phone cards worked great for us!!! We used them all over Australia and New Zealand. Did have once or twice in NZ when it wouldn't go through.

Major plus in Australia and NZ is their easy access with internet cafes. I was able to get all our business information online and had nary a problem. It actually worked better than the phones. You plug into your own e-mail address and they all had T-3 lines and for the most part it cost $1 for approx 15/20 min. What a bargain!! I even had a file sent to me and had it printed and paid for that. We used the cafes in Sydney, Melbourne, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Christchurch and Queenstown. We were there this past March. Have a marvelous time!!
Sep 18th, 2002, 12:03 PM
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go to I believe they have the cheapes rates 4 cents a minute. My friend used it in India I used it in Hawaii
Sep 18th, 2002, 04:27 PM
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We spent 9 weeks in Australia and New Zealand in June/July/August. We got a calling card from AT&T before we left and only had to pay 14 cents per minute from anywhere. Just call AT&T and ask them what they can offer you. It was really simple and all calls were billed to our home number.
Sep 19th, 2002, 02:18 PM
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Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to reply. It sounds really easy, and alleviates some of the concern of being away from the office!

Thanks to all on the board....I have gotten some wonderful information which we will put to good use on our vacation.

Sep 21st, 2002, 06:32 AM
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Hi Paula - we spend 3 weeks in NZ for our honeymoon...we bought a calling card (they sell them everywhere in NZ - we had lots of choices at the first internet cafe we visited) after arriving in NZ.... it ended up costing less than .10 cents/US per minute.

They were easy to use from either pay phones or hotel phones.
Sep 24th, 2002, 01:35 PM
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Use an AT&T phone card. Call their access number, dial it, etc. @ 17 cents
per minute for calls to the U.S.. For intracountry long distance, it was 28 cents a minute. You probably should use a local card for NZ long distance.
Aug 9th, 2005, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
I bought an international phone card at Costco before I left the US for Mexico. Used it every day from public phones. NO problem. Worked every time. I know I'll take 2 or 3 with me when we go to NZ and Australia next spring.
mistyjean is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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You don't have to bring phone cards with you - they're on sale everywhere you look in Australia, and I'm sure NZ. There's a multitude of brands. We use a ChiTel card, as most of our overseas calls are to China, but it also offers ridiculously low rates to North America and Europe (mostly 2.5c per minute, from memory). You can buy them in values of AU$10 and up.

To an extent you gets what you pays for - there are slight transmission delays - but the quality is acceptable, and certainly at that price. There are many other brands.

All you do is call a local access number (in Australia, in Canberra and each of the state capitals), then follow the prompts - enter card no# PIN#, dial your number#. The international access code in Australia is 0011, and in NZ (I think) 00.

Note that in Australia local calls attract a flat fee, but local call areas are very large by most standards.
Neil_Oz is offline  

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