Trish O'Loughlin

1 December 2016

The Hottest Apps You Need This Summer

It’s official: we’re finally making that transition into summer that we’ve all been lusting after. With the heat setting in and Chrissy holidays lurking on the horizon, we’ve put together some of the handiest mobile apps you should take advantage of this summer.

WikiCamps Australia

Summer holidays spells road trips across the great Australian outback, and herein, the WikiCamps app is your ultimate companion. This nifty app is the number one tool for directing you (and your convoy) across the countryside in search of the perfect place to camp for a few nights. Best of all? You can use it offline, so there’s no need to worry if you’re travelling out of reception.

Highlights of the app:

  • Huge database of campgrounds, caravan parks, hostels, days use areas, information centres, points of interest, and public dumps across the entire country
  • Site reviews and photos
  • GPS maps
  • Digital checklists
  • Satellite dish pointer


If you’re more of a holiday high-roller, AirBnB is the ideal alternative to flashy hotels this summer season. Since launching in 2008, the digital database has absolutely catapulted to success as it offers users not just a place to stay for a few nights, but a total experience. Free to download and super easy to use, this app enables you to easily find accommodation types of all varieties in all locations.

Highlights of the app:

  • Personalised list of properties available to book based on your destination, number of guests, budget and dates
  • Wish lists to save potential properties
  • Trip planner
  • Private messaging between hosts and travellers
  • Instant booking on select properties
  • Traveller reviews
  • GPS maps

Sun Exposure Reference

Unless you’ve literally been living under a rock, you’ll be all too aware that the harsh Aussie sun can be a serious hazard this time of year. While the old slip-slop-slap is still a nifty slogan to live by, the team over at Wolfram have gone one step further: they’ve created an app to help people avoid putting their skin at risk under the perils of the summer sun.

Highlights of the app:

  • Personalised recommendation of how long you should stay in the sun based on information such as your location, time, skin type and sunscreen SPF
  • UV index forecast map
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Weather forecast
  • Current sun position

Pocket Weather

Developed with the help of the Australian Bureau of Meterology, the Pocket Weather app has become a staple for many Aussies. With this tool, you can easily plan and prepare for beach days and backyard picnics according to the weather (not to mention find out in advance which days will be too hot to do anything but seek refuge in the comfort of the split system!).

Highlights of the app:

  • Detailed weather information for every suburb in Australia
  • Hourly temperature predictions 7 days into the future
  • Rain radars
  • Tide times
  • All BoM warnings around the country

Pocket Patrol

Australians love their beaches. Nothing says ‘summer’ like long, lazy, salt-encrusted days spent at the beach. However, summer also inevitably becomes the most dangerous time of year for drownings. Although still relatively new, Surf Life Saving Australia’s game-changing Pocket Patrol app lets users virtually see what lifesavers see.

Highlights of the app:

  • Augmented reality enabling users to identify hazards (rips, submerged rocks, shallow sandbanks)
  • Easy use with phone camera

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