Heading on a camping trip across New Zealand? It’s possible that you’ve started to plan ahead or have been given recommendations by friends – but what you’ll need to know is how to find top-rated campsites, trails and views, insider tips and how to respond to any emergencies (fingers crossed not!).
There’s always a slight panic when you’re taking a camping trip that you may not be able to find somewhere suitable to settle down for the night. With CamperMate, you can let go of that worry. With a bank of thousands of campsites throughout New Zealand, it will recommend and guide you to a safe resting place with clear directions. It also features offline maps, so even if you lose service on the road, you won’t get lost.
As well as being able to get you to safe camping grounds, CamperMate will point out useful amenities along the road, including rest areas, public toilets, garages, shops, and more.
All of this goes to prove that it’s a super useful app for any camper. But it also has some other amazing features. One of our favourite CamperMate features is the activity-search function, which allows you to look for fun things to do by region. You can even book tours and experiences directly through the app, and some even offer discounts for using CamperMate.
You can save your favourite destinations and activities to a “favourites” list as well, making it easy to find them and cutting out the need to search for them all over again.
The Ranking Camping app shows you council-approved sites, so it’s perfect for a last-minute adventure, or if your trip involves a spontaneous pitstop.
As a huge advantage over other apps, Rankers Camping allows you to download grounds for offline use, giving you access to a range of nearby sites and points of interest across 2000+ locations. What’s more? You can save your favourites and ensure you’re getting the best spot possible – with sites backed by over 60,000 reviews.
If you’re choosing New Zealand for your next camping adventure, download the Rankers Camping app.
Collecting over 100,000 tracks, AllTrails is the ideal app for those that enjoy breaking their sweat and exploring the outdoors.
Backed by a community of 10 million travellers, the app provides an extensive and localised map outlining popular tracks and points of interest. Of course, you don’t have to sweat for each trip – but especially if you’re close to some of South Island’s best camping grounds, you’ll be able to browse popular trails and compare against a range of geo-tagged images.
Grab the latest climate information with live weather maps, fire history and air quality scales, save your favourite trails before you hit a higher altitude, and stay in the right lane with accurate GPS tracking.
Ready to make the most of New Zealand’s night sky on your next trip? Star Chart acts as a portable planetarium – simply point your camera at the sky, and you’ll find out all there is to know about our solar system; every planet and every star visible from Earth is all captured in the one app.
From the comfort of your own tent, you can use voice commands like “Take me to Mars”, virtually navigate throughout the solar system, and capture over 120,000 visible stars.
The next time you’re heading to a natural escape with an open view, we recommend you download the Star Chart app – available on Google Play or the App Store.
Best Cooking App: Trail Chef
Once you’ve decided on a camping ground and you’ve settled in, your next thought is probably along the lines of – “what do we have to eat?”.
When you become sick from eating all of those nut-bars, Trail Chef is the best solution for cooking from your tent or campervan. Not only does it include over 60 easy-to-follow recipes, but the app also allows you to access the full menu without an internet connection.
Add your own recipes, categorise by dietary requirements and save your favourites for other adventures down the track.
So don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be bitten by a spider or break a bone on your next New Zealand trip – but this app is ideal for all things off-the-grid. The ‘Offline Survival Manual’ is an intuitive but comprehensive guide for skills such as building a campfire or shelter, finding food or treating bites and stings.
We know it’s quite obvious, but it’s also worth mentioning that the app can be used no matter whether you have a data connection or not, so you’ll always be prepared. Explore different areas of survival across basic medicine, shelter, fire, water procurement, poisonous plants or dangerous animals – and yes, the list continues.
Before you find yourself in the midst of New Zealand’s camping sites, download ‘Offline Survival Manual’ on the Google Play Store or on the App Store.
Best Planning App: Camping Checklist
Going on a trip without a proper plan? You wouldn’t dare – especially in New Zealand.
The Camping Checklist app provides a collection of templates and quick ways to share your items with other mates. This app also includes pre-loaded checklists, which means you can quickly start to plan ahead if you’ve organised a last-minute getaway.
It’s a relatively simple app to use, but should not be left off your own list the next time you’re in New Zealand. Download the app on the App Store or via Google Play.
Best Weather App: MetService
Don’t trust Siri when it comes to weather – particularly in the land of the long white cloud! The MetService app has been designed to warn you of severe weather changes, and provides updates for up to 48 hours ahead of time.
You’ll get real-time rain radars and climate warnings, customisable dashboards and access to live traffic cameras – absolute must-haves if you’re considering a trip throughout the south or north islands. Created by the Meteorological Service of New Zealand, it’s ideal for keeping up to date on all things weather.
Ok, so we’re not here to shelter you, but a first aid app cannot go unnoticed if you’re camping in New Zealand. The First Aid & Emergency mobile app, created by the NZ Red Cross, is designed to give simple, easy advice for emergency situations.
Broken down with step-by-step instructions, it’s an accredited app that lets you access guides without reception or an internet connection – providing advice for natural disasters or first-aid scenarios.
Learn, prepare and test your knowledge with built-in modules, and use it as a pocket guide in case of any emergencies.
Wrapping up the best apps for camping across New Zealand, you should now be well prepared for your next trip. If you’re planning on driving throughout your journey, be sure to check out the best travel apps as well – it’s packed full of tips for Wi-fi hotspots and where to pick up the cheapest fuel, so you can’t miss out!
Have some other recommendations for us? Feel free to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.