Qantas puts more marketing dollars behind virtual reality with dedicated app

Qantas is extending its use of virtual reality technology with a new app to help get customers excited about destinations by immersing themselves in them.


The Qantas VR app has been designed to work on a range of devices including simple setups like Google Cardboard and more complex split screen experiences like Oculus Rift.

The new app ties together a series of videos shot at places like Uluru, Hamilton Island and Sydney Harbour, allowing people to see what they are like before they travel.

Earlier this year Qantas said it will push more budget to VR after successfully trialling experiences with some passengers in lounges.

At SXSW in March David Murray, digital adviser for Qantas, said: “We were so confident in VR as an innovation in terms of demanding publicity and marking power that we used the content as a vehicle to market new routes and new fares.

“The innovation is the marketing. People would look at this content not because they wanted to go to Hamilton island but because it’s VR. We got some really fantastic results out of this content purely because it was VR. Of course we used other channels as well but VR as an innovation really was the driving force behind it.”

The app was created by the Australian virtual reality company, Start VR, whose CEO Kain Tietzel, said: “The app allows us to share the story of Australia to an international audience in a way that is more intimate, engaging and interactive than we have been able to tell it before.

“The amazing audio and visuals offer international travellers coming to Australia a new insight into our culture, heritage and local stories.”

It launches with 13 videos of various experiences, with more to be added in due course. It is available for iPhone, Android, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive devices

Videos available on the Qantas VR App include:

Northern Territory – Tourism Northern Territory and Voyages were key tourism partners for the development of the Northern Territory content, which includes videos of Field of Light, Ormiston Gorge in Alice Springs, Kata Tjuta, and a bike ride around Uluru. Working in partnership with Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board and the Film and Photography Consultative Committee, Grainger Films captured a rare glimpse of one of the most recognisable natural rock formations in the world – the first time a drone had ever been allowed at the site. Additional videos include:

  • Kakdu National Park – Relax on a sunset river cruise at Yellow Water Billabong, experience a guided tour of Australian Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr and swim in the water holes at Maguk and Gunlom Falls in the outback.
  • Field of Light – Uluru – Experience Bruce Munro’s internationally acclaimed Field of Light art installation at iconic Uluru.
  • Helicopter Flight – Uluru – Experience an aerial view of Uluru – one of the great natural wonders of the world. Take a seat and enjoy your access to all areas with this scenic helicopter flight.
  • Indigenous Dance – Uluru – Experience an indigenous dance from Anangu –traditional owners of the land.
  • Hot Air Balloon – Alice Springs – A hot air balloon ride is a fun way to experience the marvellous landscape of Alice Springs and surrounds. Come and join the ascent and enjoy the panoramic landscape of outback Australia.
  • Ormiston Gorge – Ormiston Gorge showcases the spectacular geology and wildlife of the West MacDonnell ranges. Experience the native fauna and flora and the waterhole – all which form to create a unique experience.


  • Hamilton Island Escape – Fly with the pilots in the cockpit of a Qantas jet as it lands at Hamilton Island airport, relax at Qualia resort, swim in the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy a helicopter tour and sail to Whitehaven Beach.

New South Wales

  • Experience Sydney Harbour – Stand on the shores of Circular Quay, enjoy the iconic sights of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, fly above Sydney Harbour and along the Sydney coastline.
  • Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge – Take in the sights and sounds of the city as you climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Watch as the traffic and boats pass below you and celebrate the view with your fellow climbers at the top.
  • Experience Vivid Sydney – Vivid Sydney, the festival of Lights, Music and Ideas illuminates Sydney each winter. See the Sydney harbour Bridge and other icons become an outdoor gallery of lighting sculptures.

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