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16 Nov 2022

Seven apps to enjoy the great outdoors

Summer is around the corner, and here in New Zealand, we all know what that means: more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. So, we compiled a handy list of smartphone apps that you can bring with you on a hike, to the beach, or wherever else your feet take you. 


The name says it all. The AllTrails app is a convenient way to find hiking tracks all around New Zealand (and in the rest of the world, as well). Whether you hike, bike or run, there’s something for everyone. You can see the nearest tracks wherever you are and read all about them beforehand – including length, difficulty, and reviews – so you can prepare yourself. And this is just the free version. The pro version (NZ$29.99 a year) also allows you to download offline maps, get alerts for wrong turns, view track elevation in 3D, and more.

Plan My Walk

The NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) launched the Plan My Walk app in 2021, for anyone looking at taking the guesswork out of their walking and tramping adventures. Plan My Walk is designed as an all-in-one tool, featuring information about DOC tracks, weather forecasts, severe weather warnings, track-specific alerts, and interactive gear lists. Also, you can add other group members to your trip plan and share where you’re going with others (like an emergency contact). 


Weather forecasts in New Zealand aren’t always 100% reliable, and it’s always a good idea to check on multiple sources. What Windy has, compared to other weather apps, is the ability to compare different weather models on one screen. Plus, you can easily visualise a detailed weather forecast, including winds, temperature, and even tropical storms or potentially severe weather.

CamperMate and Rankers Camping NZ

These two apps can be quite helpful if you’re planning a campground holiday. With Rankers Camping NZ, you can locate self-contained camping spots, holiday parks and DOC campsites across the country. The app also allows you to learn about surrounding activities and short walks. As for CamperMate, it provides information about road warnings, free WiFi spots, public toilets, petrol stations, supermarkets and more.

iNaturalist and Bird Nerd NZ

Are you into plants and wildlife? Then you may have a lot of fun with iNaturalist and Bird Nerd NZ, two apps for nature lovers. 

iNaturalist is “an online social network of people sharing bio-diversity”. The app can help you identify plants and animals: just take a photo, load it and view the suggestions instantly. Or, you can get feedback from fellow naturalists around the world.

For the amateur ornithologist, there’s also Bird Nerd NZ: a digital pocket guide on New Zealand native birds, the app uses machine-learning to identify birds from photos or even their birdsong. 


Have a great adventure!


Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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