Our payphones are free for all calls within Australia to standard fixed line numbers and calls to standard Australian mobiles all year round – but this December, we’re also opening up the lines to Santa’s Workshop!

From 5-24 December, we’ll be offering free calls to Santa and his festive friends from all of our almost 15,000 payphones around the country. Children around Australia can connect to Santa, Mrs Claus, and Santa’s right-hand Elf for a Christmas chat just by dialing a payphone.

Aussie kids can call Santa’s Workshop from any Telstra payphone by dialing # HO HO HO, which is # 46 46 46 on the keypad. We’ll put them in direct contact with Santa’s switchboard – and then they can press 1 for Santa, 2 for Mrs Claus, or 3 for Santa’s friendly Elf.

We want this to be a fun activity for kids that also teaches them how to locate and use a payphone, so they have the skills they need to contact a parent or caregiver at any time.

Connecting with each other is important, especially at Christmas. In August last year we made payphones around Australia free for domestic calls, and we want Aussies to get out there and use them! We went a step further this year and switched on free Wi-Fi at some payphones, with the goal of upgrading the entire network of payphones to provide free Wi-Fi in coming years.

Call Santa and donate to the Salvos

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, we’ll be making a $1 donation to the Salvation Army for every callmade to Santa’s Workshop.

The donations will help the Salvos to connect with some of the most vulnerable members of our community at this time of year. That might look like just sharing a cup of tea and reminding them they are cared for, or helping them access Salvation Army services available nationally.

Teach a young Aussie how to use a payphone

Have you ever thought about where the words ‘hang up’ come from? And, come to think of it, whatever a switchboard is… You probably understood what we meant – but what about our younger generations?

Calling Santa and his friends gives younger members of our community a fun and easy way to learn how to use a payphone. We all know how to use touchscreen smartphones these days, but we reckon there’s something a bit magical about picking up a payphone, hearing the dial tone and punching the numbers into the keypad.

You can also use this as a fun way to teach your younger loved ones where your nearest payphone is, and also how to dial ‘000’ if there’s an emergency. If you do, don’t forget to teach or remind them your home address as well.

Over the past year, over 20 million calls were made from payphones around Australia, and 250,000 of those were to critical service numbers such as 000 and Lifeline. While we wish that number wasn’t so large, we’re eager to get kids educated on how to use a payphone for whatever reason they need.

Free Wi-Fi and find a payphone

While you’re out and about at one of our payphones, why not give our free Wi-Fi a go as well?

We’ve enabled free Wi-Fi access at over 3000 of our locations, and our goal is to upgrade the entire payphone network to provide Free Telstra Wi-Fi over the coming years. You could use this Wi-Fi to reach friends and family overseas for free.

To get started, find your nearest payphone using our payphone locator. Just enter your suburb or postcode, and we’ll show you all nearby payphones and whether they have a Wi-Fi hotspot enabled too.

Here’s a little secret for parents: you can also find the phone number for each payphone on our locator as well – so when you’re done with Santa, you can ring the payphone from your mobile and show your kids what a real old-fashioned ringing phone sounds like!

Things you need to know

Telstra will donate $1 per call to # HO HO HO (#464646) to the Salvation Army, up to a predetermined amount.

This Wi-Fi service (the Service) is provided by Telstra Corporation Limited. By accessing and using the Service, you accept the following terms.

You are solely responsible for any information or data uploaded, downloaded or otherwise communicated via the Service and you are responsible for keeping all usernames, passwords and other security-based information secure and private. You should protect your device against unwanted traffic or downloads, including by maintaining up-to-date anti-virus software.

You accept that your access to and use of the Service is at your own risk and we do not guarantee that the Service will be available at all times or will operate without error. We can suspend or terminate your access to the Service in our sole discretion and without notice, without any liability to you.

Once you access the Service and open your internet browser to view a website, we will collect information regarding your web browser and device type/name and/or operating system information as used by your device, to determine the most effective way to display the requested webpage or content on your device. We will also collect and store the IP and MAC address of the device that has accessed the Service and non-personal information about your use of the Wi-Fi service. We will use this information for monitoring our service so that we can improve it.

You must not use or attempt to use the Service, or allow Service to be used in any way: That is unlawful or could cause us to be in breach of any law-e.g., you must not infringe the intellectual property rights of any person or commit any criminal offences; That is obscene, defamatory, libellous, threatening, abusive, offensive or hateful; Which could result in us incurring liability to any person which could interfere with the Service, our networks or equipment or those of another person, or the provision by us of services to you or another person; To engage in conduct or activities that we consider could adversely affect our reputation or brands; or Which attempts to manipulate or bypass any limitations on the Service by any means.

To the extent permitted by law, we are not responsible to you for any loss or damage you suffer in connection with using the Service, e.g., due to viruses downloaded or loss or damage to data]