New app offers self-drive tourism solution
AN UNDERWHELMING tour of a Queensland national park inspired a Buderim family’s new business venture that they say brings a “one-of-a-kind” experience to park visitors.
Grant, Sandra and their daughter Madeleine Schmidt recently launched their new business, Aussie Park Guides, to provide a self-drive audio guide app for national parks.
Mr Schmidt said after spending more than $400 on a tour that was unimpressive, he and his wife set out to provide a solution for the self-drive market.
“My wife, daughter and I were put onto this four-wheel-drive bus with about 25 other people,” he said.
“We were rushed from one location to the next, we had no choice over the schedule or the destination or the amount of time that we spent at each location, the bus driver was not overly knowledgeable about the area or the attractions, and my wife and I looked at each other and thought we could do this better,” Mr Schmidt said.
The app works completely offline, which means it doesn’t require phone reception, and allows families to travel in the safety and comfort of their own vehicle, while getting all of the benefits of a conventional tour guide, at a fraction of the cost.
“It is an alternative that provides better information, not just directions and the basic stuff, but goes into more detail about the sites, tourist attractions, plants, animals, indigenous history and the culture,” Mr Schmidt said.
“It’s all referenced, it’s all factual and current and includes some local information that you can’t get anywhere else.
“It has so much more information that you wouldn’t get if you went through the park on your own, and not something you have to pay hundreds of dollars to get the benefit from.”
The business launched with an app designed for the Daintree National Park and will roll out apps for 20 other national parks in Australia over the next five years.
Mr Schmidt, who quit his job to help build and design the app with his family, said a percentage of the profits made from each app would be donated to an environmental cause.
“We are in a business partnership with Rainforest Rescue which is a company that purchases and restores rainforests up in the Daintree, and the reason they do that is not only to protect rainforests, but to provide habitat for the southern cassowary which is engendered,” he said.
Visit the Aussie Park Guides website for more information.