Telephoning, skyping, texting and emailing in Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown on devices just became free and easy thanks to a new service introduced by Telecom this summer.
The company announced this week it activated more than 100 Wi-Fi hot spots in New Zealand's popular summer holiday destinations, including the Queenstown Lakes district.
There are nine hot spots in Queenstown, one in Frankton, one in Arrowtown, one in Lake Hawea and three in Wanaka. They were activated on Tuesday and all will remain on until the end of February next year.
The range of coverage of each hot spot is about 100m, although it depends on where it is and how many people are using it any one time.
The company deployed the service mainly through Telecom telephone boxes, or in some cases by building Wi-Fi access points into infrastructure such as shops.
Users will be taken through a brief online registration process before their device automatically connects to the service each time afterwards.
''There's nothing like sharing your summer experience with loved ones even if you can't be together,'' Telecom mobile product general Ed Hyde said.
''All you need is a New Zealand mobile number, with any provider, to stay connected''Whether it's searching for a nearby cafe, uploading a few holiday snaps to your Facebook page, or, in my case, checking work emails, Kiwis and visitors can get online for free without having to leave their deckchair.
''It's a bit of a treat from us to help Kiwis share their love of summer.''
Telecom also rolled out its free Wi-Fi hot spots trial in Northland, the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty.
During the course of the summer, Telecom and ZM radio will host ''Wi-Fi lounge'' areas in locations around the Lakes district, with deckchairs and umbrellas to allow people to relax while they surf the 'net. Staff will be available to show people how to use the service.
Make a connection
Where Telecom's free Wi-Fi hot spots are in the Queenstown Lakes district:
• Shotover St cnr Brecon St, Queenstown.
• Shotover St cnr Athol St, Queenstown.
• Rees St, Queenstown.81 Beach St (ANZ Bank), Queenstown.
• Cnr Stanley St and Ballarat St, Queenstown.
• Stanley St cnr Shotover St opposite Mobil Station Alpine Motors, Queenstown.
• Frankton Rd cnr Stanley St opposite Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown.
• Frankton Rd cnr Stanley St, Queenstown.
• Camp St cnr Searle Lane, Queenstown.
• Frankton Rd cnr McBride St (Mobil Station), Frankton.
• 58 Buckingham St cnr Wiltshire St (library), Arrowtown.
• Capell Ave cnr Parry Cres, Lake Hawea.
• 84 Ardmore St (The Paper Place), Wanaka.26 Ardmore St, Wanaka.
• Helwick St cnr Dunmore St, Wanaka.