Top 10 Australian Camping Apps

To help you get ready for your camping holidays, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite 10 Australian camping apps for your smart phone.

Whilst we’re firm believers in getting away from your phone when you’re on holiday, there are times when the iPhone or Samsung can come in really handy.

These are apps that we actually have on our own iPhones & iPads, and have found useful when travelling or planning our trips. Where possible, we’ve included both the IOS and Android versions (some apps don’t have an Android version yet).

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AussieCampingApps

1. Wikicamps

We recommend this app a lot. That’s because we find it really useful when travelling to new places, and we think it’s excellent value for money.

photo (1)

You’ll find information about caravan parks, road side rest areas, free and paid campsites (like those in national parks), points of interest and even whether campsites are accessible for caravans or camper trailers.

All of the information is displayed as symbols, so you can tell instantly whether a campsite has power, water, is pet friendly, has toilets and showers and even whether there’s wi-fi available.

The content within Wikicamps is user-generated. This means ordinary people who use the app can enter campsites and other useful info, like pictures of the campsites.

There’s also an active user’s forum, where you can ask questions and share experiences with other people who use the app.

Wikicamps is constantly updated by its makers. They also respond superfast to any issues or critiques you find with the app.

The downside of the app is that some people have added campsites that are illegal, have changed or give incorrect co-ordinates. This happens with many other guides (even Lonely Planet), which is why it pays to have more than one source of information if something doesn’t quite seem right.

Cost: $7.99 in the iTunes store.

Get it here.

Android version is here.

2. Australian Road Trips

Published by Lee Atkinson of the Ozzyroadtripper.com.au, Australian website, this app is an extensive overview of 40 popular Australian road trips and destinations all over this wide, brown land.aussie-roadtrips

The app is very easy to use and can be used alphabetically or filtered by categories such as 4WD road trips, camping & caravans, location, day trips and many more.

It’s a handy overview for people at the planning stages of their adventure (it doesn’t replace detailed guides such as our Red Centre Way or Alice to Uluru itineraries).

It features campsite reviews, photos and maps. Information includes national parks and other attractions, hikes, pet friendly campsites and places to eat.

The information is available offline for those places like the much of the outback where there’s no mobile coverage.

Cost: $4.49 only in the iTunes store

Get it here.

3. Willy Weather

2014-11-24 18.34.02I was introduced to Willy Weather by well-known outback photographer, Julie Fletcher, as an alternative to some of the other well-known Australian weather apps.

Julie uses its moon phase and sunrise/sunset calendars to plan her photography field trips.

As soon as I saw the beautiful, intuitive layout I was converted.

What’s great about Willy Weather is the usability and layout of the information.

The clear icons tell you exactly where the information on temperatures and forecasts, UV, sunrise, moon, wind, tides, swell and even rain radars.

I’m using the free version which comes with ads across the top, but they’re unobtrusive, which is why I haven’t upgraded to the paid version.

The paid version is $2.99 (this only removes the ads – you don’t get any extra functions, so I haven’t bothered paying).

Get the free version in the iTunes store here.

Get the free version from the Google Play store here.

4. First Aidred-cross

Don’t know a triangle bandage from a gauze pad? Can’t remember whether you should bandage or splint a suspected fracture?

Then THIS app is for you.

The Australian Red Cross’s First Aid app will supplement your first aid kit, and tell you what to do if someone is injured or bitten by some bitey creature out in the bush.

It’s very easy to use, and comes with step-by-step instructions for all common first aid situations. There’s information on resuscitation and CPR, treating breaks, bites, and stings, burns, allergies, blisters and more.

As it’s FREE, there’s really no excuse for not having it on your smart phone.

Get it here in the iTunes stores or here in the Google Play store.

5. Australia Bushwalking

2014-11-30 15.52.40Many of you probably know from our Facebook page that we are keen bushwalkers. If you’re a non-Australian reader and have NO idea what we’re talking about, bushwalking is the Australian word for hiking (tramping, rambling).

This app combines its creator’s passion for hiking with her eye for detail and keen interest in Australia’s natural history. In other words, it’s more than just a guide to finding which hikes are nearby your campsite.

The guide’s track notes are highly variable. For example the short walk to Mushroom Rock within the Rainbow Valley Conservation area is far more detailed than that of the Larapinta Trail – which is 223km long and the app’s creator says she’s done twice.

The walks around more populated places, such as NSW’s Blue Mountains, appear to have the most detailed track notes.

The app features links out to many supplementary sources of information, photos, and an interactive way to leave your own notes on the walks you’ve done.

Cost is $4.99 in the iTunes store.

Android version available in the Google Play store.

6. Michael Morcombe & David Stewart’s Australian Birds eGuide

Ok we’ll confess: WE LOVE this app.morcombe

If you’re a birder or someone with an interest in natural history, fauna and flora, you MUST get this app (Yes, we know. If you’re a birder, you’ve already got this app).

No more carting field guides around if you’re out on a short walk or just wondering what that bird is that calling in the trees above your camp.

The app has pictures, notes on the appearance, habits and where the birds are found, along with maps showing the living range and BEST OF ALL: playable bird calls.

The app is allows you to search by the physical features of the bird -which is great if you don’t know a Chiming Wedgebill from a House Sparrow. You can also search by name (I think it’s some kind of Honeyeater) and by taxonomy if you’re a real bird nerd.

The app also allows you to save your sightings to a list, with the date, location and room for notes.

There is a free ‘lite’ version of the app, but it only lists a handful of the 790 species that the full version has.

This is the most expensive app I’ve ever purchased, it was worth EVERY cent. (We were able to see Chirruping Wedgebills near Hergott Springs and brought them close up using the recorded bird calls within the app. Oh YEAH!).

We use it all the time when we’re travelling and camping. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Cost: $29.99 in the iTunes store.

Get the Android version here.

7. GoSkyWatch

photo 1 (1)Australian camping is all about nights spent relaxing outside, seeing things you wouldn’t normally see – like the night sky.

With GoSkyWatch, you’ll be able to point your phone at the sky and instantly identify what you’re looking at.

It’s really easy to use – you simply calibrate your phone by ‘rolling’ it, then the star chart appears, and you can rotate it around the horizon.

You’re then able to locate the constellations, planets or other astronomical features, and click to learn more about them.

Be warned – it’s addictive fun and may lead to the purchase of a telescope!

Cost: $5.99 in the iTunes store.

8. Australian Wildflowerswildflowers

Like Morcombe’s Birdwatching app, this is another app that will save you space in the your backpack.

Although it doesn’t feature every single plant in Australia, it does feature 600 of the most common flowering plants you’ll encounter.

It’s easy to use, as you can search for a flower by colour, shape, common name and scientific name. Each flower features a full colour photograph and detailed field notes.

Whilst keen field naturalists will be disappointed – it doesn’t really replace a regional field guide to plants- most campers and bushwalkers should find the app satisfies their needs.

Cost: $4.49 in the iTunes Store.

9. MotionX GPS

photo 3You might wonder why we’d recommend a navigation app when most smartphones have their own, or people simply use Google maps or Google Earth.

Well, MotionX GPS is the kind of app that rolls a standard handheld GPS, smartphone navigation apps and tracking apps ‘Map My Run’ into one place. You can even upload your own maps, waypoints and tracks – just like a real GPS.

You can track and mark waypoints with the app – just like a GPS.

The makers of MotionX GPS have free downloadable maps which cover the entire world. Their website has a quick start guide and a detailed set of tutorials to help get you going.

Cost: $2.99 in the iTunes store.

*Some specialist maps which you wish to download and use with this app may have an additional cost.

10. Geocaching

If you have NO IDEA what Geocaching is all about, then start by reading our beginner’s guide to this addictive high tech treasure hunting game that kids and adults love. It’s ideal for kids on long road trips.photo (3)

It’s a real life game where you use your smartphone to find hidden ’treasures’ -usually small Clip Lock or Tupperware containers- packed with souvenirs, swaps and toys, and of course, a log book.

You sign the log book, then register that you’ve found the cache using the app. Then you’re off to your next one! There are over 2 million geocaches hidden all over the world, so finding a few won’t be too hard.

There’s a free ‘intro’ version of the app, but you can only find 4 geocaches before you’ll need to buy the $9.95 FULL version of the app.

My advice is to SKIP the free/intro version of the app and just download the full version – this game is fun and addictive!

Download the full version of the app for your iPhone here.

Download the Android version here.

Cost: $9.95.

Bonus App:

11. Flashlight

Flashlight does exactly what the name describes: it converts your phone into a luminous white screen, which you can use as a torch.flashlight_app2

It’s super-simple to use, and we’ve found it very handy on a number of occasions when a torch just hasn’t been within our reach,

You can change the colour of the screen and you can set it as a strobe light to drive you mad.

Cost: Free in the iTunes store.

Before You Go:

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  2. Tell us your favourite camping apps in the comments below.

 

15 Comments

  • Katerina says:

    Thanks, guys, for sharing your knowledge! I love wikicamps, it saves us a lot of money in our trips.

    When we are offline (no mobile reception), we use http://maps.me/en/home and http://navigatorfree.mapfactor.com/en/download/ , as we do not have
    You can upload kml-files as bookmarks to Maps.Me and then use MapFactor: GPS Navigation as a navigator. Very handy and FREE !

  • Chris says:

    I Would think, seeing that you have an app for birds in the outback.
    A good idea would be one for dangerous/ poisonous snakes.
    Maybe take a pic with a mobile and it will tell you what type and if it is poisonous or not As a hospital would want to know what bit you.!!!

    • Gary says:

      Hey Chris, thanks for your post. I only wish it was that easy! Snakes can be quite variable in appearance even amongst particular species. The day may come but we haven’t seen an app yet. Like most animals in the outback snakes can be cryptic, ie you don’t always see them as they have disappeared before you even realise. Even though they don’t have ears they are sensitive to vibrations or scent and often sense this and get out of your way. I reckon too that they are most often hiding away during the time most of us are travelling the outback. There’s always an exception and if anyone is bitten it may be better if someone present was able to take a photo to show the hospital and/or experts for identification. We’ll keep our eyes out for an app regardless 🙂

    • Richard says:

      There are a number of field guides released by local govt “NT Field Guide” and “QLD Field Guide” also OZ Reptiles” all available as apps.

  • Basilio says:

    I would also include Spyglass into this list. Using augmented reality, the app overlays compass, GPS and location info on top of visuals captured by an iPhone camera or the map itself. It can measure distance, sizes of objects, your speed, altitude and potential arrival time to the target. You can use it as a waypoints tool, sextant, compass, rangefinder, speedometer, inclinometer and more. https://itunes.apple.com/app/spyglass/id332639548?mt=8&at=11lLc7&ct=c

  • Blewyn says:

    What Bird Call Is That ? (iPad only)

  • Helene says:

    Have come across this site quite by accident . I want to do some travelling by myself also . Many thanks for the sensible info . Have found your site and links so usefull .

  • Kim says:

    Great list and I agree with all. But I think I would add a couple more that we (hubby and I have on our phones). “The National Public Toilet Map” this is a FREE app and will direct you to the nearest toilet, be it at a park, shopping centre, servo, etc. It has open times and other info. It is great if traveling with kids or just if you don’t want to get caught short. https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/national-public-toilet-map/id323279108?mt=8

    Another useful one is ” Snakes of Australia” by Ugg Media this has pics, descriptions and maps for a large number of our Australian snakes. It currently cost $9.99
    https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/snakes-of-australia/id562703346?mt=8

    “Australian Bites and Stings” is another good one and is a great addition to the First Aid apps and it is FREE
    https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/australian-bites-and-stings/id765162888?mt=8

    and one last one as a traveller many people come across injured orphan animals a recently launched app by WIRES (NSW) might prove useful. While they do not have contact details for other states, the information provided is very useful and if people do need to get a contact for another state the WIRES people on the phones can help with this.
    https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wires-wildlife-rescue-app/id885365541?mt=8

  • Phillip Marsh says:

    I recommend viewranger app . Can use free open cycle maps which show contours. This app can record your walks. Is useful off line as you can preload maps of the areas you expect to walk. Available for ios and Android.

  • Gram says:

    Wow thanks

  • Jeff says:

    iArrow for iOS is another great GPS app. It works offline and helps to save your waypoints to navigate precisely to them later, displays detailed GPS info and does a lot lot more. A simple and very effective app. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iarrow/id626748307?mt=8

  • Thanks a lot for sharing this app.

  • Leo Perren says:

    I have an app on my Nokia Windows Phone called Fuel Map. It displays a map overlaid with service stations indicating wether it sells petrol, diesel, or gas, has toilets, showers, etc., and users can post what the fuel prices are at any time. You can also put in your odometer reading at each fill and it will display your fuel usage and cost.

  • Tahlia says:

    Ahh I have a lot of catching up to do! Looks like some great apps on this list. Thanks for your help 🙂

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