Hema Maps App For iPad, Your Ideal Companion For Remote Travel

Note: This article contains an affiliate link to Hema Maps and Outdoria. If you click through and make a purchase, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Hema Maps have long been a dominant force in the Australian off-road map market. Like many outback travellers, we started with their paper maps. Then we graduated to an all-in-one navigator and now, the Hema Maps app on an iPad.

We used a Hema Navigator 4.3 for many years, mounted to the dashboard of our Pajero with a suction cup.
Our original Hema Navigator 4.3 (hiding behind the yellow Chux) served us well for many years.

In fact, we’ve been using the iPad app for several years now. And it’s always the first thing we pack when heading off! We’ve come to rely on this app to guide us all over Australia.

So let’s have at some of the features of Hema’s 4WD maps app for iPad.

Mastering The Basics

In the video below, Peta runs through the features she uses every day when we’re travelling.

First up, she explain the basics of how to use the Hema 4WD app. Things like:

  • How to select maps,
  • How to search,
  • Centring the GPS position marker on the iPad screen, and
  • Marking Points Of Interest with your own custom pins that you can refer back to later.

Then Peta explains where to find useful information like:

  • Elapsed travel time,
  • Your instantaneous speed,
  • Your average speed,
  • Elevation, and
  • Current GPS co-ordinates.

She goes through the steps of:

  • How to start logging and recording your trips,
  • How to continue logging in the background when the iPad is asleep or in another app, and
  • How to change the default colours of your logged route and so on.

With your driving instructions out of the way, it’s time to move onto the fun part… using the maps!

Using Hema Maps In The 4WD App

Used in combination, the various types of maps give you loads of detailed information regarding the location you’re in.

Peta shows you how to access the various maps and what each type of map can tell you about the location you’re in. She explains the finer points of:

  • State maps,
  • Topo maps,
  • National Park Maps, and
  • Great Desert Tracks maps.

So sit back and discover what the Hema 4WD app for iPad can reveal, as you travel Oz.

The Orphans

There’s a bunch of maps which seem to be randomly scattered through the different categories, depending on your current location. Sometimes they live under Regional Maps, other times they hang out with Hema 4WD maps.

These guys generally seem to be one-offs, unique to a particular area. Regardless, it’s worth trawling through them. Sometimes they have useful information. Other times… well, not so much.

This Cape York map is an example of some of the additional maps you'll find on the Hema Maps app for iPad.
This is an example of the hundreds of extra maps you’ll kind on the app.

Handling The Punishment

Now you might wonder whether a stock-standard iPad is a suitable device for coping with the endless corrugations and rough tracks of the outback.

All I can say is, have a look at this video!

Our iPad sits in a Ram mount. While the Ram mount itself holds the iPad firmly, it can never be expected to soak up all the bumps and bruises being transmitted into the cab.

We have our iPad set up on RAM mounts. This holds it securely.
Our iPad sits in a Ram mount cradle on the centre console. Outdoria sell a wide range of Ram mount components and cradles.

We’ve had no issues at all with the iPad. It just keeps doing its job, regardless of the punishment it cops.

One last thing, before I forget…

Sometimes when we’re writing an article it’s simply impossible to create an accurate map of where we’ve been. Our journey through Judbarra / Gregory National Park was one example. In these situations, we simply take a screenshot and use it as the map in our article.

Why am I telling you this? Because it’s so easy to take a screenshot. Your mate asks you about some remote place… take a screenshot and send it to her. Easy!

Summing Up

We love the Hema Maps app for the iPad. It’s simple to use and has never let us down. Without it, we would have been lost many times.

One suggestion though. Always carry back-up paper maps when you’re travelling remote. We have a large storage box filled with old maps. You never know when your electronic device might fail. Plus, there’s something about unfolding an old paper map and navigating the old-fashioned way!

A collection of Hema paper maps. Still an essential backup for when you're travelling to remote places.
Just a tiny sample of our huge collection of paper maps. If you’re looking to buy some paper maps, go here.

And that’s no fun when you’re a long way from help…

You can buy the Hema 4WD Maps app for iPad at the Hema Maps online store. They stock a complete range of their products, including physical maps.

Access Traveller’s Guides… and a whole lot more at our FREE RESOURCES Page!

Any questions or comments? Go to the Comments below or join us on Facebook or Twitter.

Any errors or omissions are mine alone.

Note: We are an affiliate of Hema Maps. However, we purchased both the iPad and the Hema 4WD Maps app at full retail price. All of our articles and reviews are 100% honest – we tell it how it is.

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