Day 71: Exploring New Zealand: There’s an App for That

It’s the digital age and smart phones have changed the way we travel. I thought I’d spend a bit of time today and tomorrow on apps that are useful when visiting or living in New Zealand. All of the apps I am listing today are free!

CamperMate

My partner’s sister told us about this one since they spent a lot of the year in their caravan traveling around New Zealand. We downloaded it before our trip to the South Island last year and used it daily. The app helps you find public toilets, hot showers, gas stations, wifi, groceries, ATMs, dump stations, petrol stations, campgrounds, laundromats, hotels, things to do, road warnings,  information centers, etc. with an easy-to-use no-nonsense interface. You can select to view everything or limit what is shown to just what you’re looking for (public toilets for example).

We didn’t use it much for hotels as it was limited for that, but we used it for toilets while on the road and hot showers when camping since we were sometimes staying in places that didn’t have any facilities. We used it for campgrounds and the occasional petrol station as well since those can be rare in some places.

Converter+

I blogged about this before but I used this app just about daily when I first moved to NZ and when I go to other countries. It’s a free and convenient travel converter application and has been really useful to me both traveling and living in NZ. It may not be the best app out there (I haven’t done a big search) but it is especially useful for exchange rate conversions since those change regularly. Converter+ converts area, currency, length, temperature, time, etc. It lets you set what countries you are interested in so that you only see the info for those countries.

Auckland Transport App

I mentioned this one before too but we downloaded the Auckland Transport app on our smartphones while waiting for our train in Auckland. It’s pretty simple to use and will map your journey, help you find your stop, and show you status of the buses in real time. And the journey part works for trains, buses and ferries which is awesome. If you plan to use the bus or train system to get around in Auckland then you’ll love it.

iTravelNZ

I haven’t used this app until recently so am still exploring it. It advertises itself as the most comprehensive, smart phone travel guide for Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand). It as sections for things to see (iSEE), things to do (iDO), restaurants (iEAT), hotels (iSTAY), shopping (iSHOP) and a simple section with emergency info , car repairs, rental cars, iSite centers and Spar WiFi zones (iNFO).

So far my only complaint is that iDO seems to mostly be paid tours rather than just things to do in NZ. iSEE is a bit more open and suggests options for things to do based on where you are (ie beaches, hostels, statues, museums, points of interest, parks, etc.  iSEE also lets you filter by category so if you want to see one of our famous hot pools then you can filter for that and see where the closest one is.

iEAT is kind of fun because it has categories suh as fine dining, authentic cuisine, craft beer, wine, vegetarian, milk/cheese/honey, pick your own fruits, etc. iSHOP isn’t much for shopping but it lists the NZ farmer’s markets, night markets, etc. That is pretty cool.

 

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