I’ve messed around with a number of different mapping applications and setups over the years, and was never really that happy, until I did some more research and got the ExplorOz Traveller App.
We’ve been using it now for more than a year, and feel we should do a review covering what we like, what we don’t, and how we use it.
We paid for this
Like all of our reviews, I start by saying how we got the product. ExplorOz Traveller was fully paid for by us as individuals, with no discounts, no sponsored arrangement and no conversations about writing a review post about it.
We feel this is important so you know that our opinions are completely unbiased, and if the product was rubbish we’d happily say that.
What do we use The ExplorOz Traveller app for?
For us, the primary use of ExplorOz is to find, and follow 4WD tracks.
If you done much 4WDing before, you’ll know that there are often tracks heading in a million different directions, or you can struggle to find the start of something, and ExplorOz makes this hugely helpful.
For camping locations we tend to use Wikicamps (and even navigate often through this), but it is completely useless for seeing tracks, and showing you where to go.
I also use ExplorOz for a GPS speed, and to see what direction we’re heading in, and what the road is doing up ahead.
What is the ExplorOz Traveller App?
I suppose the name is fairly self explanatory here; the ExplorOz Traveller app is a mapping system set up for those travelling around Australia.
If you are in a 4WD, motorbike or even a 2WD vehicle its perfect for seeing where you are, what direction your heading in, what attractions are nearby and the most useful thing for us; where all of the tracks are!
It competes against the likes of the Hema Explorer, and Ozi Explorer mapping systems, but in our opinion does a far, far better job.
How much does it cost?
The actual app will sting you for $43, which isn’t cheap, but it’s a one off payment that is well and truly worth it.
Do you need to buy maps too?
You can use the app without purchasing any maps (or even load your own free ones), but its worth while buying the up to date maps through the ExplorOz website, and then downloading them onto your device.
These were $50 as well, so a total of nearly $100 for the setup, which is reasonable, and looking back money well spent.
Can you use it all offline?
Yep, its set up for 100% use offline. In order to get the best out of it, you need to have the offline maps downloaded and accessible, or you’ll have very limited zoom functions unless you have mobile reception (which is rare when you are travelling remotely as you’ll quickly learn!).
Once its set up properly though, you should be able to see every single attraction and track within Australia, down to a tiny detailed level which is hugely helpful, and nothing short of amazing.
What troubles have we had with it?
I think any new app or piece of technology has a learning curve, especially something of this nature.
We’re still learning all the different functions, but to date the only issue I’ve had with the app (and my Dad had the same problem) was when you download some of the maps onto your internal memory, and some onto your SD card.
The app just stops loading any maps unless you have reception, and the fix is to delete all of the maps, select one storage setup (Internal or SD card) and download them all onto the one unit.
The app is obviously unable to connect to the different storage paths if you’ve got maps spread over two and breaks, but asides from this its been trouble free.
Is it reliable?
My biggest gripe with the Hema Explorer app was that it would break, all the time. You’d be forever resetting the app, or trying to unfreeze it, which is no good at all.
I’m not sure if this has been fixed, but it put me off using it for good. We’ve had no issues like this with the ExplorOz Traveller app, and in actual fact its been really impressive.
If you haven’t heard of ExplorOz before, you should check their website out. It’s unique, and has been running for many years, with lots of members (you don’t have to get involved in any of that though, if you don’t want).
What this means though, is they have one of the largest databases in Australia, and have a hugely up to date information base that your app has direct access to.
Names of places, locations and attractions, along with 4WD tracks and heaps more are easily accessible, whereas some other apps struggle with this information.
There’s also around 200 treks that have been made by members, and you can download them with all sorts of information about the different tracks and attractions, which is pretty neat.
Is ExplorOz worth getting?
Yep, I’m really happy with it. I wanted a reliable mapping app that people liked, and recommended, and ExplorOz seemed to be the choice to go with a few years ago.
We don’t really run anything else except Wikicamps, and it does what we need it to without much fuss or bother and I can’t ask for more than that.
It’s so good in fact, that I purchased it for my Mum and Dad before they left around their lap of Australia.
I’d seen countless times where they were unsure of which way to go, or they were scratching for internet reception to look it up properly, and decided that it would be the best gift we could give them to ensure they could explore and get home safely, without any hassles or mucking around.
Why not a dedicated mapping unit?
You can get the Hema HN7’s, with a dedicated mapping system incorporated in some hardware, but I always steer clear of these, as you can always get a better result using a tablet, and they are multifunctional.
I’ve also heard some shocking reports of the reliability of some of the dedicated mapping units, and would rather have my own app that I can roll from one device to the next as you upgrade hardware.
I also have the advantage of a dedicated passenger (Sarah) to help me direct, and don’t need a big screen that I can see whilst driving.