Aucklanders Gordon and Cathy Duncan are not typical software developers.

After years of carting around travel books and being frustrated by a lack of information at important historical sites, they decided to create a tourism app.

After returning from overseas travel, they began to develop a business plan and, with support from start-up accelerator The Icehouse, they launched tourism business Tuhura and its app Discover NZ Tourism.

Free to download on Apple and Android, the app has more than 650 geo-located videos and animated clips about locations around New Zealand. It is available in English and Chinese.


Gordon Duncan said the aim was to give both tourists and locals a better travel experience. The app has already been downloaded more than 3000 times.

"The idea behind the videos was that, when we were travelling we found Lonely Planet guides really useful in terms of giving background information about culture and locations and that sort of thing, but you get tired of reading after a while."

The videos tell New Zealand's important historical and cultural stories, he says.

"Animation and videos, if they're short, can often tell a story much more powerfully."

There is potential for the app in the education market and they hope to expand the concept to other countries.