hiking apps


We associate hiking with being out in nature, disconnected, and away from the distractions of modern technology. To many bushwalkers, the idea of remaining connected to a smartphone would detract from the hiking experience. But, if you can overcome the reluctance to bring your smartphone when you’re walking the trails, there are some useful hiking apps which can bring something extra to your experiences in the Australian wild.

These are a couple apps I like to use. I don’t mind using my smartphone where I can. I just turn it silent and don’t look at calls and any messages and make sure other apps are not on. If I had the extra cash, I’d use a handheld GPS device. As it stands, I make the most of my smartphone. You don’t get all these cool apps on a handheld GPS device as it is.

As good as apps go, you still need network coverage, which is not always that reliable when going up and down hills, and as soon as you are away from the population. The apps that function offline by downloading beforehand are great. I make sure I do that using when I have access to a wifi connection so I don’t blow up my data plan. With all that in mind, I still enjoy them when I can, I just don’t rely on them.


When it comes to navigation, Memory Maps has everything you need. You download the map you need, so it can be accessed offline when you’re on the trail and don’t have access to signal, and it will show your location at any given moment. You are able to mark your route and refer to it while walking to prevent you getting lost or wandering off trail. It could be a life saver if you’re like me and your sense of direction isn’t what it could be.

Available on: iOS and Android


This handy, free app collects data on rural bushfires and their alert level. If you are walking in the Australian summer, this could be one to download as the unpredictable nature of bushfires means it’s always a good idea to stay up to date. The app tells you if you need to be vacating the area, or just to be cautious and await advice. A useful app for staying safe in the bush.

Available on: iOS and Android


Another useful safety app is the official app of the Australian Red Cross. It provides easy to follow first aid information for a multitude of scenarios. No signal or internet required. There are FAQs and step by step guidelines of how to perform the procedures, which are set out from the Australian Resuscitation Council and the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

Available on: iOS and Android


Developed by New South Wales National Parks, Wild About Whales gives you the location of where whales have been spotted along the coastline. It provides the details of the species and also allows you to tag locations you have seen whales and you can set it up to give you notifications straight to your phone if any whales come into your area. An awesome app I would recommend if you have any upcoming coastal adventures.

Available on: iOS and Android


An extensive list of what to pack for your trip. It comes with lists for a variety of outdoor interests including climbing and bouldering, snow-shoe trekking, cross country and alpine skiing and alpine touring. You enter your interest and your accommodation and it provides a specifically catered list of everything you will need to take with you. You can also create your own lists and share them with your mates and vice versa.

Available on: iOS


The birdwatcher’s bible, in an app. It turns your phone into a receiver and identifies the species from the birdsong. If you aren’t sure what’s making the noise, this app will tell you. It also has a database of pre-recorded bird calls if you like the challenge of finding the species yourself. It also provides colour photos and information on a variety of Australian birds.
Available on: iOS


My favourite app on the list. For those fantastic nights when you lie down on the grass and the stars are glittering in the sky, Night Sky identifies the constellations above you and leaves you pondering your significance in awe and wonder. Using VR technology, you hold the phone up to the stars and as you move it the constellations you can see above you, will be there with their names and information on the screen.

Available on: iOS and Android


Do you have any apps you can recommend? Let us know through the comments section below.

Oli Ward

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.