top of page


Digital playgrounds return to Auckland parks

February 07, 2017

Magical Park – a digital app that transforms a normal park into a digital playground – is back for the rest of the year at three Auckland sites following its successful two-month trial.

Auckland Council trialled the virtual reality game from July to September last year in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer – Geo AR Games – at eight parks around the region.  

Specifically made for children aged 6-11, the app augments the real world with 3D digital images via a smartphone or tablet.

Magical Park technology creates digital fantasy playgrounds

February 03, 2017

A new augmented reality experience aimed at getting children outdoors and interacting with the natural environment is being backed by the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA). Developed by GEO AR Games and currently available in nine New Zealand urban parks, Magical Park turns an urban city park into a digital fantasy playground, enabling park managers to transform open spaces and playgrounds into an exciting and engaging world for children and families to explore. Utilising a mobile device and the Magical Park app, users create a blended virtual world seen through the app once they enter the boundaries of the magical park.

Kittens to find and fairies to hide from in Frimley Park

December 13, 2016

Cute little kittens are rampaging all over Frimley Park, just waiting for our technology-savvy children to track them down.

But while they are finding them, they will need to avoid the Bad Fairy.

Magical Park is a virtual reality game aimed at six to 11-year-olds, similar to the Pokemon Go game for children and designed to be used in urban parks.

The use of it by councils is being promoted by the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) to encourage greater use of parks and physical activity.

Creatures populate reserve for game

December 20, 2016

An empty Dunedin reserve has been taken over by dinosaurs, kittens and unicorns as part of an augmented reality game aimed at keeping the city's children active.


The Dunedin City Council has spent $2650 to buy the rights for the game, called Magical Park, so it can be played at Caversham Reserve, off South Rd, using a smartphone or tablet.

It has already been set up in other locations around New Zealand.

Council recreation planning and facilities manager Jendi Paterson said the game was aimed at getting ''kids off the couch and active outside''.

''Kids run on average 2km when playing,'' Ms Paterson said.

The game uses augmented reality and like the smash hit game, Pokemon Go, superimposes creatures over the real world.

Dinosaurs, kittens and unicorns at Dunedin reserve

December 19, 2016

Dunedin (Tuesday, 20 December 2016) – Dinosaurs, kittens and unicorns now roam at Caversham Reserve which has become a digital fantasy land with the addition of mixed reality game Magical Park.

Dunedin City Council Recreation Planning and Facilities Manager Jendi Paterson says children can play the game at the reserve using a smartphone or tablet.

“Magical Park is a world filled with dinosaurs, kittens and unicorns. It’s aimed at 6 to 11 year olds and is Dunedin’s first augmented reality game. The game is designed to get kids off the couch and active outside. Kids run on average 2km when playing.”

this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...


November 03, 2016

Shane the Gamer

Shane the Gamer was invited to this years Microsoft Ignite event in Auckland, New Zealand. Among the techy overload showcasing everything from software securities, PC peripherals and more was New Zealand’s own GEO AR Games.

Utilising Augmented Reality, GEO AR Games turns public parks in to a virtual playland for kids. We got the chance to have a sit down and chat to one of the company’s founders Melanie Langlotz about the GEO AR App for smart devices which gets kids out and about to experience a day at the park like never before.

Hashtag ME interview with CEO Melanie Langlotz at Micorsoft Ignite NZ

October 27, 2016

Hashtag ME

Live interview with Geo AR Games CEO Melanie Langlotz at the New Zealand Microsoft Ignite conference 2016

How we ended up with a Geospatial Augmented Reality Start-Up challenging Pokemon GO

October 23, 2016

NZ Microsoft Ignite Video Forum

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. This is the story of how frustration, an idea, and a lot of determination led to a bootstrapped tech start-up. We are a female tech start-up who had to push past a lot of people with a lack of vision. After 2 business incubators and a third one about to start, we would like to share our lessons learned, the insights that kept us going, our technology vision and learnings from the Augmented Reality industry. We have been praised as an inspiration to the Film and TV industry and the media has called us the NZ native, safer version of Pokemon Go for kids. The aim of this talk is to inspire those fearing redundancy, encourage the entrepreneurs and innovators sitting on the fence with an idea not quite knowing how to start, and provide those with a hunger for technology some first-hand Geo AR insights into the Mixed Reality realm.


October 13, 2016

Touchstone Research

Kids are always interested in the latest and greatest thing, that’s why they are often the early adopters of new technology. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have seen a lot of development recently, and several companies are wisely looking into ways to utilize this technology in a way that’s appealing to kids. What a lot of companies are trying to do is get this perfect marriage between traditional toys and technology; and what they’re finding is that AR is the best way to combine those two worlds. The following are some of the companies making waves with their AR innovations which are being aimed at kids.


August 29, 2016

 NZ Recreation Association

Wellington City Council has been drawing more children and their families to the city’s parks with virtual games where the objective is to round up kittens and collect dinosaur eggs.

Magical Park is an augmented reality experience aimed at getting kids outdoors, specifically aimed at children aged 6-11, and developed by GEO AR Games.

“The initial objective was to look at ways to get kids active, and to get them into parks,” says Tim Park, Environment Partnership Leader for Parks, Sport and Recreation at Wellington City Council.

Melanie Langlotz - Changing careers into Augmented Reality

October 03, 2016

Situation Magazine

When the film industry went through a challenging period, Melanie Langlotz saw it as a timely opportunity to reconsider her career choice and move into Augmented Reality which led to Magical Park. 

Virtual games a drawcard for urban parks

October 02, 2016

 Local Government Magazine

A group of New Zealand councils have been trialling virtual games in city parks to encourage more children and families to get out and be active.


Content Image LG Oct 2016

The trial involved Magical Park, an augmented reality experience developed by GEO AR Games to encourage children aged 6-11 to get outdoors. The experience includes two smartphone or tablet-based games: Augmentia and Dino Land. In Augmentia, children explore the park on their device while rounding up kittens, and in Dino Land, they must collect eggs while avoiding the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex.

The games were trialled for three months from June in a number of parks in Wellington, Auckland, Porirua and the Hutt Valley.

“There’s certainly been interest and the games have generated more visits,” said Bruce Hodgins, divisional manager parks & gardens at Hutt City Council, which is trialling the app at Avalon Park.

“Anything that gets people out and about, we’re interested in.”

Bruce said Hutt City Council was keen to extend the three-month trial at Avalon Park to 12 months.

September 18, 2016


There is almost no doubt that you’re familiar with the Pokemon GO augmented reality (AR) revolution that took over the world. Now, Kiwi company and AR specialist GeoARgames will be presenting their business and offerings to investors at a two city summit in China.

This is all part of an initiative from FunderTech that sends startup businesses to China in order to discover investment, manufacturing and distribution opportunities. FunderTech maintains a unique relationship with an Angel Investor Club based out of four cities in China, which allows startups to pitch their ideas in front of between 300-500 Angel Investors, Venture Capital funds and government officials.

July 21, 2016 - Technology

The technology behind games such as Pokemon Go could help us develop a healthier relationship with our phones.

That's the message from Kiwi Amie​ Wolken​, one of three brains behind Geo AR Games, a New Zealand company breaking new ground in the world of augmented reality.  

"It could make using our phones less invasive and we won't need to distract ourselves away from reality to do it," she said. 

July 18, 2016

World Urban Parks 

Auckland and Wellington City Councils in New Zealand are piloting a new augmented reality game designed to get ‘tech children’ who are glued to their tablets and iPhones out of the house and into parks with their families.

Magical Park is the world's first digital playground app using augmented reality. It is geo-located in a specific park and so the app will only open in a designated park area. Auckland and Wellington's park sites have signs installed, instructing the visitor to download the app and play in the park.

This provides park managers with an innovative way to use technology to bring digital families to a park. Once outside, the magic of outdoor activity takes hold, and kids end up playing together, using their imagination and getting side-tracked from the game to doing other things.

July 18, 2016 

Sie sorgen dafür, dass Kinder wieder gerne die heimischen vier Wände verlassen, um in der freien Natur auf die Jagd zu gehen. Hierbei fangen die Kids Fische, finden Elfen oder treffen auch mal auf einen ausgewachsenen Dinosaurer. Nein, wir reden nicht von Pokémon Go, sondern von anderen AR-Games, die nicht minder spannend klingen. Diese stammen von der anderen Seite des Erdballs und wurden von der Deutschen Melanie Langlotz mitentwickelt. Sie stand uns Rede und Antwort.

July 16, 2016 - Technology

His eyes transfixed on a screen, face illuminated by a back-lit screen, Haki Karaka is totally absorbed in his game. 

But rather than slouched over a screen on the couch, the 7-year-old is running around the Auckland Domain, chasing fish and dodging sharks in an augmented reality world - a bit like a Kiwi Pokemon Go - viewed through an iPad. 

Melanie Langlotz​ and Amie Wolken​ are the founders of Geo AR Games which is behind two gaming apps, Sharks in the Park and Augmentia.

July 15, 2016

Radio NZ National - This Way Up

Geo AR Games and the Konini Primary School are being interviewed 21min into this 45min podcast.

There's a visit to a digital playground in Wainuiomata to meet Melanie Langlotz from Geo AR Games who has developed a location based mobile game that, like Pokemon, mixes the real world and video gaming - the idea is to get kids off the couch and running around outside.

July 14, 2016 - Dominion Post

With Pokemon​ Go causing injuries around the globe, you might want to offer a safer alternative for your children over the remainder of the school holidays.

Wellington City Council has been trialling the new app Magical Park, in collaboration with the game's New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city.

Specifically made for children, the game augments the real-world field of view with visuals on your device and turns parks into a fantasy world where the aim is to collect dinosaur eggs and be followed by kittens.

July 14, 2016

Wellington Council News

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary.

July 12, 2023 - Technology

Geo AR, part of Wellington's Lightning Lab XX, has been working on mobile outdoor games in parks and designated spaces for play since last year.

Chief executive of Geo AR, Melanie Langlotz, says the inspiration for using augmented reality in gaming came in 2011 from her 11-year-old stepdaughter, who like many in Gen Z, was glued to technology.

They created Sharks in the Park, an app designed to get children active by running away from giant interactive sharks to save schools of fish.

"With augmented reality we're really trying to target the kids who don't go outside, who just play on their screens."

Geo AR have recently teamed up with the Auckland and Wellington councils to create Magical Park: mixed reality digital playgrounds in 13 council-selected parks.

Langlotz says outdoor "edu-tainment" through AR gaming has huge potential, shown in the popularity of games like Pokémon Go.

July 10, 2016

New Zealand and Australia were the first to get the game on Wednesday last week, with the US receiving it a day later. The game has rocketed to the #1 spot on Apple and Google stores.

NZ Game Developers Association chairman Stephen Knightly says it’s a milestone for the gaming industry because outdoor geo-location gaming has been talked about for a while but there have been barriers to entry.

“You’re expecting someone to get off their couch and get out and about and play a game outdoors, whereas games have often the convenience of playing with your hands while you’re commuting or killing time,” he says.

“What it really took was a brand with a lot of love for it, like Pokemon, which has been around for decades so people grew up with it, to get people out and about playing games for the first time.”

The brilliance of the game is that it doesn’t require anything more than a standard smart phone, compared to costly virtual reality (VR) headsets, he says.

However, it’s not a world-first.

The company that developed the game for Nintendo, mobile game studio Niantic, created a very similar game called Ingress, which many say is more sophisticated than Pokemon Go.

More locally, Lightning Lab-backed Auckland start-up Geo AR Games has created augmented reality games, such as “Sharks in the Park.” The game has kids restricted to a park where they must chase schools of fish while evading sharks.

Geo AR Games has also been contracted by Auckland, Wellington, Porirua and Lower Hutt councils to create another AR game called Magical Park.

Mr Knightly says Pokemon Go is less sophisticated than other Pokemon games, making it almost “Pokemon lite.”

“It’s just the fact that Pokemon is such a well-known and well-loved game. People have been playing Pokemon games for years imagining, ‘if only I could do this outside and in my local park,’” he says.

July 07, 2016

95bFM Radio

Geo AR Games is trialing a new app called Magical Park. It is the world’s first digital playground and uses Geo location to create a virtual playground. The app can be used in nine different parks around Auckland and is free to download. 95bFM producer Hannah Ross spoke to Melanie Langlotz from Geo AR Games about what the app is and how it works.

July 05, 2016

Our Auckland

Auckland Council has partnered with innovative New Zealand mixed reality experience designers GeoAR Games to get kids off the couch and outside to play, ahead of the winter school holidays.

The council has signed an agreement to trial GeoAR’s “Magical Park” digital playground app in eight parks around Auckland for two months from 4 July to 4 September.

July 03, 2016

NZ Start-up of the week curated by Dave Moskovitz

If your kids are anything like mine, they love to play games on their handheld devices. So much so, that it can be difficult to get them outside, even on a fine day. Geo AR Games lets them do both at the same time, augmenting public open spaces into exciting “mixed reality” play areas with a combination of real-world, virtual, and social features.

June 21, 2016 - Spotlight on Wellington

Also in the latest group of startups to spend time at Lightning Lab XX is GeoAR Games, a developer of mixed reality games that use GPS technology to build digital playgrounds.

The startup recently raised more than NZ$10,000 through a crowdfunding campaign for its “Sharks in the Park” app and secured a trial with Wellington and Porirua Councils to pilot the game in city parks.

For co-founder Melanie Langlotz, being part of an accelerator means being challenged and even uncomfortable.

“You only grow at the edge of your comfort zone,” she told SmartCompany.

Langlotz says the program “keeps you so focused”, while at the same time, opening up doors to new contacts and potential investors, especially at the program’s ‘Demo Day’, where the startups pitch to a room of hundreds of potential investors.

“Where else do you get that sheer opportunity?” she says.

June 20, 2016

Hutt Kids 

Geo AR Games are changing the way kids interact with video games in a fight to get them off the couch with a healthy alternative. 

The Auckland tech start-up have created several games using geospatial augmented reality to combine a virtual world with the real world. 

The user can run around a park holding a mobile device in front of them while collecting virtual schools of fish and trying to avoid virtual sharks.

The game cannot be played inside and the bigger the area outside, the bigger the world it is that can be explored. 

June 13, 2016 - Dominion Post - News

A trial running this month will see kids herding kittens and collecting dino eggs around three different playgrounds in the Wellington region.

Geo AR Games has collaborated with Wellington, Porirua and Lower Hutt city councils to bring their free Magical Park augmented-reality game to life.

"There are two worlds, one called 'augmentia' where kids can catch kittens … and there is 'prehistoria', prehistoric land, where kids can collect dinosaur eggs," developer Amie Wolken said.

June 05, 2016

IT Media Japan

青空のもと、広々とした公園で走り回り、歓声をあげる子どもたち。スマートフォンやタブレットを掲げ、お互いのスクリーンを見比べたりしながら、あっちに行ったり、こっちに来たり。皆が遊んでいるのは、現在開発中の、現実と拡張現実をミックスさせたゲーム、「Geo AR Games」だ。.

May 31, 2016 - Technology

Geo AR Games are looking to coax your screen-addicted child outside - through augmented reality.

Augmented reality brings visual and virtual elements into the real-word field of view through a device.

Using augmented reality, Geo AR Games have created "Sharks in the Park", a game which puts six to 11-year-olds in a underwater world.

It's designed to have children running around with various sea creatures in a wide open space, and has built in safety features to keep them out of harm's way.

The game is already available on both Android and iOS devices, and Geo AR Games have just launched a Kickstarter to help develop their 'healthy gaming' product further.

May 22, 2016 - Business

An Auckland tech startup that is aiming to use technology to get kids off the couch and outside has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for growth.

Geo AR Games have set an initial target of $10,000, more than 40 backers have pledged more than half of that amount, with 28 days still to go on the campaign.

Co-founder Melanie Langlotz​ said the business wanted to use the money to fund product development and educate more parents about healthy gaming options.

May 16, 2016


Kids love couches. They sit on them, lie on them, twisting and turning through adventure-filled content on their handheld games. Try and get kids off the couch, and you may find that they have morphed into aggressive zombies.

Computer games are everywhere - with the rise of smartphones and tablets, it’s easier than ever to play games anywhere, anytime. Mobile games are the go-to form of entertainment for many families because there is always something new to try. Sometimes it can feel impossible to separate a child from their screen. Childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise. “Healthy kids” and “mobile games” are not often phrases we think of as complementary. It’s difficult to imagine a computer game that is healthy for the mind and body. But by combining the best of the digital and real worlds, our Geospatial Augmented Reality applications have done just that.

We have developed a revolutionary mobile app which can be played on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet and that gets kids off the couch and active OUTSIDE.

TV3 newshub - Technology

One Kiwi company has come up with a way to get kids exercising while they play on their iPads. It involves a shark and a park.

If you see kids running around randomly with a device and saying "shark!" they could be playing Sharks in the Park -- an augmented reality game where the player catches fish and avoids hungry sharks.

"There are little rewarding sounds and scary sounds when the shark tries to get the fish off them and they run away, and that is the whole objective of winning this game," says CEO Melanie Langlotz.

Read more:

Ep 87 Sharks in the Park – AR gaming with Mel & Amie from Geo AR Games

Access Granted NZ

We speak with Mel and Amie from Geo AR Games (@GeoArGames), creating 'augmented reality games' for kids!

We chat about the journey from inception, going to Chile to be part of an international start up incubator, then back in NZ where they are currently going though the Lighting Lab XX programme.

April 30, 2016

Lightning Lab XX

Lightning Lab XX is a business incubator for female founders and Geo AR Games was one of the teams. Take a look and oyu will find video clip and a description of our team and our journey. 

Games Pad

A New Zealand Tech startup Geo AR Games is using what most people thought as the enemy to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids Video Games! to actually encourage them to head outside and to their local park and get active with  the power of Geospatial Augmented Reality to develop what I believe to be the new craze in Gaming Digital Outdoor Gaming.Smartphones and Tablets will bring kids imaginations to life with 3D models and animations which are integrated via the Camera feed allowing the user to explore computer-generated content by moving through the real world.I know its such an amazing idea and I for one would have loved to have used this when I was a kid !

Geo AR Games opens door to new world of gaming

April 30, 2016 - Business

With their little heads down, fingers swiping, eyes illuminated by a back-lit screen, children these days can play for hours without ever needing to go outside.

Two Auckland tech entrepreneurs are aiming to change that though, through the use of augmented reality.

Melanie Langlotz​ and Amie Wolken​ are the founders of Geo AR Games and are creating a gaming app that lets users make their own augmented reality worlds and motion games that are played outside - Langlotz describes it as like, "Minecraft in a park".

Please reload

bottom of page