How do you decide which apps are best for you?
We’ve sorted through all the myriad apps on the market for travelers to New Zealand. We’ve downloaded them and tested them to determine which actually do what they claim.
Each week we’ll follow-up with updates – and expand our app review to the top apps for travel to Australia.
Our comprehensive selection of apps includes the most useful smartphone and tablet apps for iPhones/iPads, Android devices and even Windows Phone devices.
Click on the links above to check out our top picks – and let us know which apps you’ve tried and think are the best for travel to New Zealand.
1. New Zealand Travel Guide (by Triposo)
New Zealand Travel Guide by Triposo Guides is our top app for exploring New Zealand. The app works perfectly even when offline.
Key app features include –
- Exhaustive city guides for 50 New Zealand cities (Apple iOS version) with sites, restaurants, things to do and a city map highlighting the points of interest.
- An eating out section for each city with the best restaurants, bars, pubs & nightlife section for the major cities.
- New Zealand In Depth: Essential background information about New Zealand.
- Mini guides for less traveled, off the beaten path destinations.
The app compiles information from freely available and open content sites such as Wikitravel, Wikipedia, World66 and Open Streetmaps, DMOZ and Chefmoz. The content is condensed and edited for greater relevance.
The good thing about using open sources is that the content is comprehensive. The not-so-good aspect is that some content may not always be totally accurate.
Triposo’s app stands out for its exhaustive coverage, plenty of options and versatility of use.
- Works offline;
- Comprehensive collection of attractions;
- Frequently updated;
- Versatile app for self-exploration and sightseeing;
- Lots of options and an intuitive interface.
- Information is essentially based on user-submitted and open content. Hence, what is presented may sometimes not be 100% correct.
- Too much information and too many choices can result in information overload. You definitely don’t want to spend your time in this fantastic country pouring over suggestions and reviews on your mobile device — or second-guessing the decisions you’ve already made.
As often happens, the Apple version of the app is more current than Android version.
Download size: 157MB Android — 169MB Apple iOS Go To Top
2. Essential New Zealand Travel (by Tourism NZ)
The official Essential New Zealand travel guide app from Tourism New Zealand offers the latest information about hundreds of travel options for travelers in New Zealand without needing an Internet connection for it to function.
The app lists over 1,000 travel experiences in the Destinations section and users are best advised to dig through the section to find attractions.
Key features of the app include –
- Offline access to travel information without needing an Internet connection.
- Must-do experiences for each of the 26 regions and many popular locations.
- Your Trip synchronization with the newzealand.com website (operated by Tourism New Zealand). Import Your Trip collection and access a wider range of travel information through the app.
- Photos, descriptions and pricing information for about a thousand activities and attractions.
- Contact info and detailed map locations for the i-Site activities and information centers.
- An option to plan and save your favorite activities and experiences into Your Trip section for later access.
- An option to share your favorite activities with your friends and family.
- The ability to view your current location on the map.
The frequently updated app is smooth functioning with plenty of descriptive photos. The iPhone version of the app is generally more up-to-date than the Android version.
- Works offline;
- Huge collection of travel experiences (1,000+);
- Reliable info;
- Frequently updated.
- Feels “managed” with more importance on tours rather than self-exploration;
- App navigation also seems less flexible than our choice for the No. 1 app.
Download size: 31MB Android — 51MB Apple iOS Go To Top
3. itravelNZ – Travel Guide
iTravelNZ provides detailed information about over a 1,500 points of interest (about 1,000 in the Android version) across all regions of New Zealand.
The attractions can be searched by keyword, location, or on the map. It also has a What’s Around feature highlighting attractions around your current location.
This includes information about accommodations and activities/events as well as travel info, tips and suggestions.
The app works both online as well as offline and can retain your research history including maps even when offline.
Other features include GPS integration, integration with navigation apps and social media integration.
The Apple iOS version is more detailed, feature-packed and better updated than the Android version.
- Small download and install size with a collection of 1,500+ points of interest.
- Limited offline use – a consequence of the app’s small size;
- Limited (though growing) coverage of restaurants and dining places;
Download size: 7MB Android — 13.3MB Apple iOS Go To Top
4. New Zealand Travel GuideWithMe
The New Zealand Travel GuideWithMe app is a compact offline guide to New Zealand. The app offers information about attractions around your current location.
This includes Get Around Guides, phrase lists, safety warnings if any, information and recommendations on restaurants and hotels, local costs/taxes, road rules and more.
In all, it has 220 articles covering destinations across New Zealand.
Offline map functionality is available downloading another free app by the same developer.
- Completely offline operation.
- Compact app with a variety of essential information about the included attractions in one place.
- Limited map functionality. Offline Maps require another free app – MapWithMe;
- Limited coverage compared to other apps.
Download size: 25MB Android — 27MB Apple iOS Go To Top
5. Nest Finder NZ
Nest Finder NZ is an app that addresses a niche market but also includes useful information.
It provides comprehensive information about 1,600 places to stay, including over 1,000 New Zealand Department of Conservation huts, 350 camp sites, 280 BBH hostels and 50 YHA (Youth Hostel Association) hostels as well as 80+ i-SITE – official New Zealand visitor information – centers, across New Zealand.
Users can check the availability of DOC huts and YHA hostels, check prices, and move on to make the booking through the respective booking systems.
The app is designed for offline use and requires no internet connection for providing detailed information for the sites. Maps are cached for later offline use once they are displayed.
Users can also pre-download Open Street Map tile archives for the stated levels to their phones – thus, saving time and bandwidth while they’re traveling.
The Pro version of the app (which costs $6) also supports topographic maps and is useful for adventurers and wilderness explorers.
Other features include location awareness for finding sites near your current locations, detailed information for each site and photos submitted by other users.
The free version of the app has all the features of the Pro version, except access to the detailed topographic maps.
- One stop information on where to stay for adventurers;
- Integration with detailed topographic maps provided free by Land Information New Zealand. Over 6.5 GB of detailed maps are available for free.
- Topographic map integration requires buying the Pro app for $6.99. Still, this is cheaper than other topographic map apps.
The Free version is available here at Google Play (Android). Apple iTunes (iPhone/iPad) version is not available
The Pro/paid version costs $6.99 and provides integration with the free Topo 250 (1:250000 scale) and Topo 50 (1:50000 scale) series maps for all of New Zealand including the Chathams.
Download Size: Variable according to map sizes Go To Top
6. Air New Zealand mobile app (by Air NZ)
Air New Zealand’s mobile app is a valuable tool for the airline’s passengers as well as other travelers inside the country. The well-designed app provides a number of essential functions as well as up-to-date flight status information.
App features/functions include –
- Flight status of domestic and international flights.
- It can be used for collecting checked bag tags at airport kiosks, gaining entry to the Air NZ’s Koru lounges (if a member) and as boarding pass for flights.
- Displays up-to-date flight information including gate, seat and departure time info.
- Notifications about key flight activities, such as check-in opening, and flight boarding commencement.
- Sharing flight details and ability to add flights to a calenda.r
- Viewing your Air NZ frequent flier miles (Airpoints Dollars) balance, Status Points, basic transaction history and tier benefits.
- Booking and changing flights.
- A well designed and essential app for travelers to New Zealand as info about domestic flights is useful for all travelers to the country.
Download size: 11MB Android — 13MB Apple iOS Go To Top
7. Great Walks – New Zealand (by Barry Polly)
These two apps are dedicated to New Zealand’s Nine ‘Great Walks’ as designated by the Department of Conservation, New Zealand.
The Great Walks are walking tracks that pass through spectacular scenery including native forests, lakes and rivers, rugged mountain peaks, deep gorges and vast valleys.
The Great Walks tracks are well-formed and easy to navigate. You can travel on your own or join a guided trip for camaraderie and convenience.
Great Walks – New Zealand is an interactive guide to all nine of New Zealand’s Great Walks. The app includes trip planning guides, highlights, annotated maps, elevation profiles and audio pronunciation guides.
Most of the app’s features work offline. The current location of the user during a walk is shown on a map using an in-device GPS.
The app’s download size for Android is 25 MB. It is available for free at the Google Play store.
No Apple iTunes or Windows Phone version is available at present.
New Zealand’s Great Walks
Another app, New Zealand’s Great Walks (screenshots immediately above) is a smaller (1.8 Mb download for Android) alternative to the Great Walks – New Zealand app. This app provides the history, details, routes and photos for New Zealand’s Great Walks.
It is also probably the only Great Walks oriented app for Windows Phones.
The Android version of this free app is available at Google Play.
The Windows Phone version is available at the Windows App Store.
No Apple iOS version is available. Go To Top