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Visit Australia without leaving home with the Qantas VR app, Koalas not included

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Australian airline Qantas has unveiled a new VR app, aptly named Qantas VR, which will allow users to visit Australia remotely. You’ll be able to take part in guided tours of national parks and world-famous landmarks, all without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Of course, Qantas hopes that you’ll be so impressed with your virtual visit to Australia that you’ll book a flight to see it in person — and that functionality is built right into the app.

“Our aim with the new virtual reality app is to connect with travelers by showcasing parts of Australia they might not be familiar with,” said Qantas executive Olivia Wirth.

Qantas first rolled out a VR program last year, offering up Samsung Gear VR headsets in First-Class cabins and lounges. The Qantas app, which launches today on iOS and Android, was developed in partnership with Australian VR firm, Start VR.

“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,” said Kain Tietzel, CEO and Creative Director for Start VR.

The app isn’t just a way to sell flights to Australia, Tietzel says, but rather a way to allow a broad international audience to experience the cultural and historical heritage of Australia. The VR experiences available on the App run the gamut from relaxing river cruises on the Yellow Water Billabong, to guided tours of Australian Aboriginal rock art, and helicopter flights over the iconic Uluru.

The new Qantas app allows users to experience the VR tours in conjunction with a Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, or other compatible headset like the Google Daydream. Alternatively, you’ll be able to just watch the videos in landscape mode from within the app if you don’t have access to a compatible VR headset.

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Jayce Wagner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
A staff writer for the Computing section, Jayce covers a little bit of everything -- hardware, gaming, and occasionally VR.
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