The Canberra Guide goes live

johnboy 21 December 2012 10

canberra guide

The official “app” of the National Attractions has been released by Andrew Barr and the National Capital Authority.

It looks a lot like a mobile website.

Your thoughts dear readers?

UPDATE 21/12/12 09:42: Senator Lundy has taken up her pom poms to explain:

The Canberra Guide has been developed in collaboration between the National Capital Authority (NCA) and the National Capital Attractions Association (NCAA) with support from the ACT Government through the Centenary of Canberra unit and Australian Capital Tourism.

Minister Barr said The Canberra Guide is a great addition to the growing list of social media tools available to visitors to our nation’s capital.

“The smartphone app and mobile website is useful for locating all of our significant sites and major attractions as well as information on events listed in the big Centenary of Canberra program. Information on public facilities such as bus stops, public toilets, playgrounds and barbecue areas is also available.

“Additionally, in its second phase launch early next year, The Canberra Guide will take on booking functionality. This will help ensure Canberrans and visitors alike don’t miss out on any of the fantastic activities and events happening next year.” Minister Barr said.

“I encourage Canberrans and local community and event organisers to check it out,” Minister Barr concluded.

Senator for the ACT, Kate Lundy, congratulated developers of the official phone app and mobile website and said the new digital products would enhance the travel experience for tourists visiting Canberra and allow them to access information in the palm of their hand.

“I am delighted collaboration between the Federal and ACT Governments and local businesses has resulted in a new way of communicating, making Canberra events and attractions more accessible than ever,” Senator Lundy said.

UPDATE 21/12/12 11:16: There’s now a YouTube vid:

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10 Responses to The Canberra Guide goes live
Zan Zan 7:15 am 24 Dec 12

It’s really great (NOT). Where is the big main hospital in Woden Valley???

Airports – lol – one in Queanbeyan – oh, wait a minute it’s only the Airport Motel. Luckily I wasn’t in my little plane looking for a place to land.

hotwaterservice hotwaterservice 12:57 pm 23 Dec 12

goggles13: App looks OK? Are we talking about the web app of “The Canberra Guide” ( or available or forthcoming native apps?

As I only have access to the web app, there seems to be content issues (lack of coverage) and textual glitches (For example, some spurious font issues e.g. “The Summernats delivers” depending on the platform you are viewing from … probably only tested on a Windows platform!).

For the reported $100K investment ( even in its first phase the app should have a bit more polish to it; appears to be a prerelease beta version. Also a search function is lacking in the web app and is kind of imperative for a tourist on the prowl around Canberra’s marvels.

goggles13 goggles13 8:37 am 23 Dec 12

app looks ok.

why doesn’t the release from Lundy have a link to the mobile app and details on which mobile platforms it is available on?

not trying hard enough to convince people to look at the app.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 9:55 pm 22 Dec 12

johnboy said :

Keep your eyes on our DIY Wotz on guide, we always find something!

Such as a ceremonial tyre burning at EPIC ?

hotwaterservice hotwaterservice 7:11 pm 22 Dec 12

johnboy: Yes the DIY Wotz on guide is a damn sight (or site 8-)) better! Not much in “The Canberra Guide” ( presently; improved content hopefully or will it die stillborn?

Surprised that SUMMERNATS 26 – JANUARY 3 – 6, 2013 ( barely rates a mention (All Day, January 03) as I thought it was a 4 day event and lots of typographical errors (cut & paste from Windows files?) e.g. “The Summernats delivers” …

Given the lack of local knowledge in “The Canberra Guide” (e.g. missing facilities in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong) and the slipshod nature of the text, I suspect app development might have been outsourced overseas! Quality Control? Hmmm!

annus_horribilis annus_horribilis 4:40 pm 22 Dec 12

There appears to be no events happening over the Christmas/New Year period.

    johnboy johnboy 5:24 pm 22 Dec 12

    Keep your eyes on our DIY Wotz on guide, we always find something!

hotwaterservice hotwaterservice 3:30 pm 21 Dec 12

gtlloyd: Of course the link is just to a web app – the native apps are coming – but you are correct. It is indeed possible to specify an icon and presumably a title for the web app. For Apple devices see the Apple Safari site: and I assume Google Android allows a similar customisation: shown at

gtlloyd gtlloyd 2:41 pm 21 Dec 12

The devs, if they’re reading here, should look into the iPhone (and presumably Android) icon linking specifications as when I go to add it, it shows up as ‘Untitled’ without a specific icon (just a view of the page’s content).

hotwaterservice hotwaterservice 10:12 am 21 Dec 12

Hopefully the following are taken as constructive comments and advice for “The Canberra Guide” app makers.

The app looks very useful but it could use a little more polishing. Both content and naming need improvement and standardisation: e.g.
• Embassy naming is a sensitive issue: Embassy of Sweden is the official name not Sweden Embassy (!
• Courts includes residential ie. non-law courts
• There are no Gungahlin BBQs and most major parks in Gungahlin are missing!
• Apparently we are an anonymous heathen lot in Gungahlin with a sole un-named Place of Worship! 😎

So in summary – the app is not quite (but almost) ready for prime time; at the moment you could sleep in it but it is like an unmade bed! I’m pretty sure I could do a better job of polishing this app so it should not be hard for other professionals.

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