A new travel app combines self-guided tours of Sydney Harbour neighbourhoods with options to meet people along the way.
Thirst for Sydney features five itineraries with maps, photos, ferry timetables and walking directions for exploring the harbour, while the connect function allows users to announce themselves and send messages to other users of the app — locals and travellers.
Co-creator and writer of the app, travel writer Rob Dunlop, says he wanted to bring together the elements of what makes for great travel – exploring neighbourhoods, indulging local food and drink, and meeting locals.
He describes Thirst for Sydney as a hybrid app with three modes of use.
"You can use it as a self-guided travel app to explore independently, as a social app to meet people, or combined to meet people while exploring.
"For example, Ben from Norway is visiting with friends and taking the Bays of the East itinerary. He posts a request for Sydneysiders to join them for drinks at the Beach Club in Watsons Bay. Anyone using the app can then respond and send private messages. Even when users aren't in the app, they'll receive notifications of messages."
Dunlop says that this feature receives most of the attention.
"Travellers love meeting locals and locals love meeting travellers."
All five itineraries, which can be taken as day trips, start and finish by ferry at Circular Quay. Routes include Kirribilli Plus — exploring
Kirribilli, Milsons Point and Lavender Bay; Bays of the East – exploring Double Bay and Watsons Bay; West of the Bridge — exploring McMahons
Point, Balmain and Darling Harbour; Manly and Mosman Bay.
Sydney Harbour ferry masters and crew have also contributed their personal insights for the first time to an app. They reveal insider
knowledge about the "world's best harbour" as well as their favourite watering holes such as the secluded Mosman Rowers in Mosman Bay.
Already lining up for accolades, Thirst for Sydney has been described as "both beautiful and useful" and was a finalist in the Australian Mobile
& App Design Awards 2014. It has also been nominated as one of Australia's hottest new travel experiences.
Thirst for Sydney is available free on the App Store.
It is currently available for iOS only.
Visit www.thirstforsydney.com to download.