We've switched on Australia's direct connection to the North Pole

Here’s how to make free calls to Santa’s Workshop from any Telstra payphone this year
Jana Kotatko · 10 November 2023 · 6 minute read

The boots are polished, the bells are jingling, the big red suit is freshly washed and hanging on the line.

For Aussie kids (of all ages), it’s time to ring in the festive season with the return of our Free Calls to Santa hotline from any of our 14,500 payphones around the country.

And we’re opening the lines earlier this year so you can get your wish lists in with Santa until Christmas Eve.

We know how kids of all ages love calling Santa. Last year there were over 11,000 calls made from Telstra payphones to the North Pole on Christmas Eve alone. So, whether you're based in Subiaco or Sapphire Beach, you'll have plenty of time to get your call in.

An enhanced way to chat to Santa


Staying connected to friends and family is essential during the festive season, and to add an extra dose of holiday magic, kids across Australia will be able to do more than just talk to Santa about their Christmas lists. 

From asking about the weather in the North Pole, to what the reindeer like to snack on before their big Christmas Eve adventure, our Free Calls to Santa hotline is more interactive this year, allowing kids young and old to have more engaging conversations with the jolly man in red.

Payphones can offer a stress-free North Pole connection  

For those looking to skip the crowds in shopping centres, our payphones offer a convenient and cost-free alternative to get a call in to Santa.

Here are some handy payphone tips this holiday season

For kids, calling Santa also provides a fun and easy way to learn how to use and locate their nearest payphone in case of an emergency. Some handy tips:  

  • Use Free Calls to Santa to show kids how a payphone works and remind them that they can use one when it’s needed. 

  • Fun fact: Every payphone has a unique number you can dial from your mobile. This is a great way to show kids what an old-fashioned phone sound like!


Here’s how to call Santa from a Telstra payphone

First, head to any Telstra payphone from November 15 – December 24. You can find your closest payphone by using our payphone finder on Telstra.com or Google Maps. You can even use our map below for an interactive experience. Dial #HO HO HO (#46 46 46) and make sure you’re ready with a few questions for Santa, and to tell him what’s on your wish list!  

Santa’s elves have also helped us liven up a special selection of payphones. Use our festive payphone Google Map to see where your closest one is.



In August 2021, we made all standard national and mobile calls from payphones free to support the community. Since then, usage has more than doubled. In the 12-months to June 2023, over 23 million free payphone calls have been made, including more than 250,000 calls to Triple Zero and other emergency services

Our Hello Christmas ad

Our Free Calls to Santa hotline is part of our Hello Christmas campaign, which celebrates the unique magic of the Aussie festive season. 

“Hello Christmas” tells the story of Dasher the reindeer, who journeys through regional Australia after getting lost and separated from Santa.

Dasher meets some local friends along the way, including festive neighbourhood dogs and a few local kangaroos.

Eventually, Dasher is discovered by a little girl who uses one of our payphones to call Santa and reunite her new four-legged friend with Santa for Christmas.

It’s a distinctly Australian story, created by The Monkeys (part of Accenture Song) and directed by the award-winning Glendyn Ivin at Exit.

It also uses great Australian music from the Queensland band Zefereli and their 2016 ballad, “Oh Christmas”. You can listen to it on Spotify below.

By Jana Kotatko

Telstra Retail Executive

Jana is an experienced and authentic leader who believes that exceptional results flow from creating the right cultural settings. Over two decades, she’s consistently delivered results in challenging and dynamic environments. A confident and effective communicator, Jana builds and articulates visions that engage all levels of a business and drive success.