BNE December 2014/January 2015 |
A STEP AHEAD
at McArthur (
) didn’t set out to be a tech entrepreneur but she
does like to travel and in particular likes walking around a city
“to get the real pulse of the culture”, but when she found herself
overseas and unable to plot a simple itinerary for a night out, she started
to think about solutions.
“I was in Barcelona and just wanted to go out to eat, see one of the
famous flamenco shows and go to a cava wine bar and there was not
a quick solution that combined the different categories, so I ended up
spending about an hour myself searching with google and maps when I
could have been out there,” she recalls.
When McArthur arrived back home in Brisbane the avid app user
went to work creating paper plans and sketching screen flows that
would solve the problem for travellers like herself. Then she went to an annual event called Startup Weekend on the
Gold Coast where her project was judged best of the weekend. Within months she launched WunderWalk, a free
app available on iPhone and Android which allows the user to create an outing almost instantly by combining their
interests in shopping, eating, drinking, entertainment and sightseeing.
“It’s the first, and fastest, way to layer all of those areas of interest into one itinerary. It’s all about less time planning
and more time out and about,” says McArthur. So far there are 2896 cities to choose from in 155 countries and millions
of places of interest to tap into to create a unique walk, or there are trails that other walkers have already discovered
that you can follow.
Itineraries also show time and distance between venues, photos of venues so you can see what they look like before
you walk there (shops show a sample of merchandise) and a scoreboard ranks walks based on how popular they are.
So far Brisbane is scoring well with walks as the city where the app was founded. “It really is a great time to be
exploring in Brisbane because there are so many precincts that are growing with new cafés and shops opening every
weekend,” says McArthur.
“If someone has a really beautiful day out, it’s just a quick tap and they can share that with friends on Facebook and
lead the way to their walk as well,” says McArthur, whose own network of friends also post favourite walks as they
travel to cities around the world.
Itineraries also veer from the norm of dining out and shopping. “You might be a church architecture buff or like
antiquing,” says McArthur. One friend followed a trail of poets’ hangouts in San Francisco (which is now on the list of
best walks for that city).
“I want to give confidence to someone who has got maybe two, three or four hours in a city but doesn’t know if they
will find what they are looking for in time. I hope the app will give people that confidence to just go,” she says.
Download the app atwww.wunderwalk.com
Photography of Kat McArthur by Marc Grimwade
Some of Kat’s own favourite walks in Chile