After having looked in to loads of i phone and iPad applications that will aid the visitor travel around Australia, these are definitely the ones that I travel with and I believe are the most useful iPhone apps for taking a trip in Oz. There are numerous others that deal with restaurant reviews and a myriad of other categories, these ones are specifically tailored to give you a hand if you are exploring Australia in a campervan. Having said that, some of them come in very handy when doing day walks around the city or when floating through any town in the country.
Show the Loo – free. This terrific little app shows you exactly where all the public toilets are that are in close proximity to you. It is especially useful when doing city treks but in addition can be handy if you are searching for a sneaky free park in a larger city. In most the major capital cities it can be hard to find recognized camping places which are near anything good. For anyone who is attempting to save money and continue to use your camper in one of these larger cities, this app can show you where almost all the toilets are in the neighborhood. Some are 24hr toilets and it will also show the ones which have showers etc. So long as you comply with any parking restrictions (if there are any), then you are free to stay in the campervan over night. Its an uncomplicated app, but is THE most convenient app to have in Oz. You can even perform a search ahead of time for any towns you might be arriving in that you want to stay in overnight, that way you know where you want to park overnight when you arrive in the town.
Campee – free. This app tells you where all the free camps and caravan parks are around Australia. Its free but you must set up an account with them. It wants you to sign in with Facebook, however there are other possibilities to set up account with an email. I used an email address and I have had no spammy e-mail from them. The most irritating thing about this app is that if you leave it for just a few minutes or so it asks you to log back in which means repeatedly typing in email and password.
There is a “near me” icon on the home page so if you want to determine what is nearest camp site or caravan park to you, then click on that at it should bring up your present position. Around your location on the map is going to be places to stay. Alternatively, type in the town you would like to camp near and it will bring up a map with the town pinned and show all the campsites, roadside rest areas and caravan parks nearby.
Another highlight is a massive filter range to pick different elements you are keen on. To start with you can differentiate between campground and caravan park or both, you may also filter free or paid or both. And then there is a directory of 41 filters of “must have” items if you are after them, this is things like toilets, showers, laundries, phone reception etc. Once you have filtered things, each remaining icon on the map will show you the facilities available once you select them.The app is end user driven, so people add info as they go along. You can add in details like photographs and opinions to assist the community. This app costs nothing and does an exceptional job.This app works the best when you are not in a capital city as there are few caravan parks or designated overnight stays within the larger cities. For these cities use Show The Loo.
Wiki Camps Australia $2.99 (also available for Android). If you want for the best camping and caravan iPhone app for Australia it is going to have to be this tool. It costs a small fee though. Starting an account is non-compulsory, but gives you accessibility to post in forums if you do. If you ever don’t set one up you can still read the community forums that are offered within the app.
This app is also end user driven and so has details submitted by others. It seems to have the jump on Campee for the moment with a few more responses and photos added by customers. This app tends to have more listings for places to camp and has a lot more obvious listings for additional services like dump sites. For those who have a campervan that has a toilet then this app is for you. If using no filters at all in your search, then this app will also display things like information centres and Points of Interest on the map near the town you inquired about. It includes 57 filters to modify your search, however can be a little harder to initially navigate than Campee. After you get the hang of it though, it is pretty easy to handle and is more powerful.
Additionally there is a download for offline part which is handy in a country that has such awful mobile phone data coverage. You can select by state but it takes a looong time to download, even on a wifi connection.
Around Me – free. This iPhone and iPad app is designed to illustrate what is around you wherever you are: it offers categories like ATM (automatic teller machines), pubs, coffee and coffee shops, hospitals, hotels, parking, fuel, grocery stores and more. It is updating all the time and regrettably is now ad driven. They are not too interfering though. It doesn’t always list everything that is near you in the category you lookup, however it is very quick and will find some thing in the category you want. Useful not only if you are cruising through a town looking for a grocery store, but also great if you want a stay a while. I understand that this app works in the US hence I am thinking it will most likely work across the Tasman in New Zealand as well. (so place it on the checklist for the iphone travel apps for New Zealand too).
Have fun out there.