It’s good to have some sort of plan for your trip and where you’re staying before you head off. At least lock in your first night’s stay before departing. But what happens when you plans change? And isn’t the whole idea of being on the road for plans to change? What if you’re exploring a new part of the country and have absolutely no idea where anything is.
Well- there’s an app for that.
Actually there are quite a few. The five most popular here in NZ are CamperMate, Rankers Camping NZ, WikiCamps, Campable and NZ DOC Campsite finder. The NZMCA app deserves a mention too, it is made by the developers of Campermate so is kind of a reskinned version tailored to NZMCA members.
All the apps are good as part of your planning and dreaming your next foray. It’s really good to cross reference between them to get a better feel of what is being offered. Most of the apps provide downloadable maps so you can still figure out how to get to where you wanna be. Just remember to do the download while you have WiFi as they will chew up your data.
Rankers Camping NZ, is toted as the original Kiwi camping app. It’s been around for 13 years and quite frankly it fricken rocks. The Kiwi graphics and the side bar comments from Nick Morrison on the app are worth it alone. There’s over 4,000 camp sites listed and it’s endorsed by all 67 NZ regional councils. It’s authoritive. And its free. Download it on Google Play or Apple App Store.
CamperMate works well here in NZ and Australia. The app is super easy to navigate and goes a little further with local deals. There’s also user reviews and comments which are great when you’re feeling out a place’s real vibe. .. another freebie! Download it on Google Play or Apple App Store
Campable is good getting away from mainstream holiday parks, although they do dominate the app. You can find pubs, vineyards, farms and privately owned sites that have signed up to the app. It pays to double check with a phone call. Be mindful where you are be staying is low key so you should be on best behaviour. … you guessed it…free in your app store/google play. Download it on Google Play or Apple App Store
WikiCamps isn’t as comprehensive across all the NZ campsites as Rankers. BUT its got heaps of extra features like a 7 day forecast and an editable checklist function. It’s very easy to navigate. It is not free…but it’s only a $3.49 download. Download it on Google Play or Apple App Store.
NZ DOC Camp Finder is a government department app, and I can’t review it because I can’t use it on my non android operating system. C’mon DOC, play fair. But if you are in the majority of smart phone owners check it out. It is supposed to be really informative albeit quite basic. There’s 250 DOC campsites listed and the app will steer you to your chosen site via Google maps. And it too is free… if you’ve got the right operating system. Download it on Google Play