New Zealand is one of the worst places in the world to live if you want to avoid roving hordes of Pokemon hunters. Thousands have joined organised Pokemon Go walks around the country as the smartphone game grips the nation.

And New Zealand's biggest telco Spark, which has 2.2 million mobile users, reports a 10 per cent surge in mobile data use in the past two weeks. The company has also seen a tenfold hike in sales of mobile batteries as Pokemon fanatics clamour for back-up power.

Improved internet coverage in recent years means Kiwis have better mobile access to the web than most other countries, which means there are few places to escape the Pokemon hunters, Spark spokesman Sam Durban said.

"New Zealand now punches well above its weight. More than 97 per cent of places where people live, work and play get coverage and 4G is rapidly catching up."


Durban said the recent uplift in mobile data use was "significant".

"The nearest thing we have had to the countrywide Pokemon phenomenon was during the Rugby World Cup in 2011 but coverage has got a lot better since then.

"We have never seen a single app drive the amount of traffic over a concentrated period as Pokemon Go has. It has been insane."

For those wanting to escape the Pokemon madness, the good news is there are still a few places where smartphones struggle to get a signal.

Here are six Pokemon no-Go areas, suggested by Spark:

• Fox Glacier on the West Coast of the South Island.

• Cape Reinga, the northwesternmost tip of the country.

• Tane Mahuta, giant kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest, Northland.

• Devil's staircase, a tight, zigzagging road near Arthurs Pass in the Southern Alps.

• Maruia Springs hot pools, about 2 hours' drive northwest of Christchurch.

• Haast Pass, at Mt Aspiring National Park, near Wanaka.