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Aussie Park Guides is the first company in Australia to provide self-drive audio guide applications that allow global travellers to explore, enjoy and appreciate the beautiful national parks of Australia.

An Australian-first, the technology uses an in-built GPS receiver and does not require an internet connection.

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THE CHALLENGE

Based on the Sunshine Coast, app creators; Grant and Sandra Schmidt of Aussie Park Guides, have spent the past 18 months researching and testing the app idea after having an underwhelming experience with a conventional tour guide.

The concept was born: “How can we apply GPS technology via smart phones, to work in remote locations and serve up content rich information, without internet coverage?”

When they first decided to turn their dream of developing Australia's first Self Drive Audio Guide App for National Parks into reality, the initial challenges they faced in finding an App Developer, were quite unexpected.

The task of finding a suitable Application Development company that believed in their vision, had the expertise, project management skills and most importantly the conviction to follow through and deliver, was so much more difficult than they could have imagined.

They were told things like... that is not possible; your concept won't work, we cannot build that, it will not work offline, the technology does not exist, etc etc.

After being knocked back by a number of app developers who said it could not be done, they managed to find the experienced team at Speedwell, who could use the GPS tracker in a smart phone to trigger geographic-specific audio recordings.

THE SOLUTION

The App was built using React Native, outputting to both iOS and Android, to save costs and have a single code base allowing for the cost effective addition of new national parks as the uptake of the App proved there was a definite market for this type of App.

There were a number of challenges in developing the App as the final testing had to be done onsite in the Daintree National Park – and with COVID-19 issues and travel restrictions, it was required to create local test journeys to resolve any bugs.

We had to rebuild GPS components of the App numerous times to get it to work based on direction of travel, speed of travel, trigger times, as well as refining the voice over content to fit. The client had made hundreds of trips between Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation to understand the issues and nuances of the GPS triggering, which Speedwell would then rectify and fine tune.

Each Aussie Park Guide tracks your position via GPS and provides automatic hands-free commentary as your vehicle approaches unique points of interest within the national park. It provides an Australian narrative, which allows you to explore the national park, from the comfort of your own vehicle, in your own time and at a fraction of the cost of a conventional tour guide.

The application is downloaded via WI-FI, prior to leaving, and once downloaded it requires no internet signal or phone reception to operate, whilst driving through the national park.

DOWNLOAD NOW

The first of 20 self-guided road trip apps for national parks around Australia has been launched. Download the app today to get an interesting and educational narrative about different aspects of the national park as you explore and drive through it. The Aussie Park Guides app is now available via the App Store or Google Play.

Available on the App Store Get it on the Google Play store

THE RESULTS

The App was only recently released (May 2020) but initial downloads and social media interaction is very promising.

With restrictions due to COVID-19, it’s expected the uptake of the App will be slower than initially anticipated, with the various travel restrictions, especially from the overseas market.

There are clear benefits for users, not only a cost saving alternative to expensive tour guides, but packaged content, with unique points of interest within the national park, an Australian narrative, all in the comfort of your own vehicle, and in your own time.

The App 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.

In addition, directions, safety tips and recommendations are 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.

It’s designed for someone to drive into Port Douglas, have no knowledge about the Daintree National Park, and it will provide you with a full guided tour, no matter where you drive.

You can read all about the App on their website; https://aussieparkguides.app/
VISIT THE WEBSITE
  • Downloadable smart phone application
  • Does not require any phone reception or internet signal and will work completely offline
  • The App is about one tenth of the cost of conventional tour guides
  • You can explore the Park in the comfort and safety of your own vehicle, in your own time and your own schedule
  • You and your family can still travel and explore our beautiful national parks and maintain social distancing; #covidsafetravel
  • The App will allow you to still see the best national parks Australia has to offer
  • They are currently working on the future Guides, with the next one due out in the next few months!
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