Useful Apps for Backpackers in New Zealand
After our travels all over New Zealand, we can recommend some useful and handy apps for your smartphone or tablet. These apps have made our trip through New Zealand a lot easier and helped us save money or find places to stay with our van.
Camping and especially Freedom Camping in New Zealand have a great popularity. To find the nearest campsite, shower or supermarket, there are several useful apps. We recommend three of them to you; because they have all the important information you need for your trip through New Zealand.
- Campermate: The App Campermate is super practical and offers a great overview of all important points. You'll find campsites, gas stations, showers, supermarkets, public toilets and much more. Campermate consists of a community where you can help by registering places if they are not already on Campermate. You can also quickly see from the comments on each site whether it is a good spot or not. In addition, Campermate checks the places and therefore gives you a guarantee that you will not get a fine if you use a place that is on Campermate approved for camping or freedom camping. If you get a fine you can contact Campermate and they will probably pay your fine if it’s their fault.
- Wikicamps NZ: The Wikicamps NZ app works according to the normal Wikipedia principle. Anyone can enter their own places without much effort and also access all other places. This leads to the fact that sometimes there are also places that may not be legal or where camping or Freedom Camping is not allowed. Here there are also all campsites and often even more sites than in Campermate because everybody can add places quickly. There is also the possibility to filter for certain things like WLAN, showers or other amenities. How you set Wikicamps NZ exactly is explained in an article (Filter settings for Wikicamps NZ). Wikicamps is also very useful to find nice spots because there are also the categories Point of Interest and Day Use Area.
- Rankers Camping NZ: The app Rankers Camping NZ is still relatively new on the market, it was created in cooperation with different organisations like the board of tourism New Zealand and the local New Zealand tourist information. Here you can also discover all the important categories such as campsites, public toilets and much more. We ourselves often use the combination of all three apps. So we are sure not to miss a thing.
Do you have another good app for camping in New Zealand that we didn't mention here? Then please write us a comment under this article.
Navigation by car or van
Navigation in New Zealand is basically rather simple, only in the cities there is a larger selection of roads. To get comfortably from A to B we have a few tips for apps to make navigation easier for you.
- Google Maps: Google Maps is the classic app there. The app is pre-installed on every Android phone. If you know that you won't have internet in New Zealand, you can download the offline maps prior to your drive. Then you can navigate without mobile phone reception. Just type in the address and off you go. Google Maps has a small flaw that should not be hidden. If Google Maps doesn't know a road that leads to your destination, it will bring you as close as possible to the point with your vehicle, this will lead you in rural areas sometimes on the craziest ways and these are not always suitable for cars or vans. So if you want to drive in a more remote area, always check Google Maps to see if there is a road to your destination.
- me: If you don't want to use Google Maps, Maps.me is a good alternative. Also here you can comfortably use offline maps and download them to your phone. You can easily get from A to B and have a good orientation. We couldn't find a big difference between the two apps, so we decided to use Google Maps.
Do you still have a good navigation app that we didn't mention here? Then write us a comment under this article.
Hiking & outdoor navigation
If you like being out in nature and hiking, there are usually proper signposts from the DOC. But not every hiking trail is well marked or clearly visible. There are so-called topographic maps for this. We have found great apps that allow you to have topographic maps directly on your mobile phone in New Zealand, so you can safely get from A to B even in remote areas.
- New Zealand Topo Maps Free: This app with the long name offers you a topographic map for your mobile phone. In the free version you must have an internet connection to download it. Unfortunately, you cannot download the whole map to your mobile phone at once. If you want to see the map before a hike, then you just have to scroll manually into the area where you want to go. The data will be downloaded. If you are on the road, your mobile phone already has the data in its cache and can use it. If you have no mobile phone reception and have not downloaded the maps beforehand, then you are screwed. In the premium version you can download the maps before. But the Premium Version is not quite cheap. But we were able to do everything with the free version and were sure to always be on the right track.
- Komoot: Komoot is also an outdoor app, practically even with topographic maps for the whole world. In the free version you can download one region, but just after the download of the Komoot app, you get an unlimited world map for 7 days at a special price, choose this option if you want to enjoy more comfort. I have used it and can save all regions of New Zealand on my mobile phone at any time. In addition, you can get inspired or simply have your route recorded. If you don't just want to hike, you can also choose other sports such as cycling, mountain biking, jogging or even mountaineering. So you're ready for all the variations in New Zealand. We also use this app to record tours or at the end to check the run distance and our speed.
Do you have another good app for hiking that we didn't mention here? Then write us a comment under this article.
Compare fuel prices
If you have your own car or a camper van in New Zealand, then you will be annoyed about all the different and confusing fuel prices and it is difficult to find the cheapest provider. Here you can find app help thanks to your smartphone and a clever app developed for New Zealand and Australia.
- Gaspy: Thanks to this clever app you can see the fuel prices in the area. The principle is simple; you can enter the current price into the app at any petrol station, confirm a price or even share it directly via Facebook or other social media channels. If you are on the road, you can easily see which petrol station is nearby and which prices are currently there. We usually got the right price displayed in the app. If you cleverly combine Gaspy with the AA Smart fuel Card, you can save a lot of money (you can find out more about the AA Smart fuel Card here in our article).
Do you still have a good app for saving money when refuelling that we didn't mention here? Then write us a comment under this article.
If we forgot any other app that you can recommend, write me a comment and I like to have a look at it. Have fun in New Zealand.
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