8 Must Have Apps for a New Zealand Adventure Trip

If you haven’t heard, New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world. I’ve finished a canyoning trip and seen packrafters on the main river, followed by some hikers along the trail, a distant paraglider swooping through the air, and lastly some rock climbers back at the carpark ready to start their trip. All in the space of one hour. I probably missed some mountain bikers in the bush for all I know. So like I said. Adventure capital without a doubt.


Doing an adventure holiday to New Zealand is a tick every adventurer or outdoors person dreams about. Seriously. If you haven’t seen photos, jump onto google and do a bit of browsing. Or watch Lord of the Rings.

So to make your first time a little easier, or if you’re a repeat NZ adventurer, here a 8 must have apps on your phone to make life easier! Oh, and they are all FREE of course! You can find them on both the Android and Apple platform.

1) Campermate

Campermate is THE app to use for all your camping needs. Suitable for Australia and New Zealand, it will show you all the campsites you can stay at, water taps, public toilets, free wifi, rubbish bins, and much more.

Working closely with the government and council, this is the most up to date resource and also happens to be exceptionally easy to use with a user friendly interface.

2) NZ Topo Maps

I used to buy all the paper maps. I spent hundreds of dollars over many trips. It was also a waste of luggage space and weight. Well, no more!

Download the NZ topo map app and save pennies for your advanced or off-track adventures. The entire country (literally) is ready to go in topographic format.

To use it offline, just zoom right in to the area you want to save and make sure the auto caching is turned on. It will cache the area. Remember to cover more than you need.

What if your phone dies or you like paper maps?

You can head to the NZ Topo Maps website HERE and print them out. Visit the internet cafes in major cities to do this or print them out at home before you arrive! There’s no excuse now for not having the right topo maps and getting lost!

3) All Trails

This is a great app for finding hiking tracks. I tend to have a look at this one when new to an area to get a quick overview of what’s around. With GPS tracking to help record your movements, directions to the trailhead and great filters to find exactly what you are looking for. There's a pro version which offers more features but I find the free one does enough.

4) Windy

Ah the weather. New Zealand is a hotspot for extreme weather and on a trip anytime of the year, you can bet the weather will change your plans a few times. It’s wise to respect it. Everyone will tell you this one or that one is more accurate. The answer: all and none of them at once! Its important to use a few sources to check the weather. And even then, it may still do the opposite!

The Windy.com app is a great visual aid for weather predictions. Use pressure maps and rain forecast options to give you the best outlook.

But like I said, don’t rely on just one source…

5) METvuw

While technically not an app, you can easily make it one. Sort of. Metvuw is an incredibly good resource and should be on everyone’s list.

To make it a app, so to speak, just look it up on your web browser HERE, select the NZ south island 5 day outlook, and make it a shortcut on your home page (usually an option in your web browser app like Google Chrome). This should work for both iPhone and android systems.

Now each time you hit the app button for it, it’ll open in your browser quickly with the info you need. Simple!

6) Met Service

The official weather app, this is great for making sure you are in the loop for day to day weather. I still prefer Metvuw for longer predictions past 3 days however and I use windy as one extra source in addition to Metservice and Metvuw. The Met Service app has the live rain radar however, which is good seeing in finer detail if the rain is going to keep on going for the day.

7) Google 'My Maps'

When planning your trip, google My Maps is great to make a shareable map that can be used to put all your travel location info in one place. This can be great in sharing with family back home so they know what sort of places you are at in case an emergency arises. Or to show other group members whats around an area. I tend to place all the stuff I could do and when one plan falls through, I can open the map and see what else is around.

With My Maps you can plan an entire road trip on there and mark all the places you want to see. Start and edit the map on your computer before leaving home and use the app to have everything ready to go and easy to read.

8) Amazon Kindle

While an actual book is still great to have, having easy to carry digital copies is a great way to keep all your reading stuff in one place. It’s nice when winding down after a hike, or sitting out a storm, to have something to keep you busy and from going stir crazy!

Have any apps you’ve found useful on a adventure trip to New Zealand? While the true spirit of adventure is all about embracing the unknown, having limited time in a place like New Zealand makes it very useful to get the most out of your trip. I hope these apps prove as useful to you as they have been, and continue to be for me.

Happy (and safe) adventuring!


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The environment is under threat from human impact! For your enjoyment and for future generations, please LEAVE NO TRACE! Respect natural places and leave them clean. You can learn more about the leave no trace principles HERE.