Driving app to guide you through our national parks
Daintree National Park first in Australia to have self-guided audio tour.
The first of 20 self-guided road trip apps for national parks around Australia has been launched.
Aussie Park Guides Director Grant Schmidt said it was the first company in Australia to develop a self-drive audio guide app that allowed travellers to “explore, enjoy and appreciate the beautiful national parks of Australia”.
“Each Aussie Park Guide tracks, via GPS, your position and provides automatic hands-free commentary as your vehicle approaches unique points of interest within the national park,” said Mr Schmidt, pictured below with his wife Sandra and daughter Madeleine.
“It provides an interesting and educational narrative about different aspects of the park as you drive through it, including specific locations, unique flora and fauna and the park’s indigenous and European cultural heritage.
“Directions, safety tips and recommendations were also provided, so that the occupants of the vehicle can remain safe, not get lost and make the most of their precious time whilst exploring.”
Mr Schmidt said he planned to develop apps for 20 national parks over the next five years.
“The criteria we use for choosing the national parks includes visitation numbers, proximity to an international airport or capital city and bitumen roads,” he said.
“They will be aimed for people with two-wheel-drive vehicles or people who restrict themselves to bitumen.”
The first app covers Daintree National Park with the next to be released in coming months for a park outside Queensland.
“Our research suggests Daintree National Park has the highest visitation rates in Australia for national parks,” Mr Schmidt said.
“The latest official statistics say over half a million people go there every year.”
Mr Schmidt said once the app was downloaded, no phone reception or internet connection was needed for it to work.
“The majority of national parks in Australia have no internet or phone connection, so this is one of the unique characteristics of our app,” he said.
He said the commentary started automatically as your vehicle approached points of interest within the park, providing educational information and directions.
The Daintree National Park app automatically starts playing for users once they reach the turnoff to Port Douglas on the Captain Cook Highway, north of Cairns.
“The app takes care of your whole day, giving you information on what to see and how to get there,” Mr Schmidt said.
The app can be used to fill in a whole day or used for part-day tours, with choices to suit the user’s needs.
“It guides you no matter if it is at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day, it will cover all options,” Mr Schmidt said.
“You can go back repeatedly over a number of days as often as you want because the National Park is too big to see in one day.
“It does not tell you what to do, it gives you options. It is up to the driver to decide what to see and when to see it.”