Terrain Explorer

Explore NSW in 3D in high detail.

Plan your next adventure into the NSW Wilderness.


Download Terrain Explorer 1.3.18


Download and run the installer. Ignore any security warnings from Windows (this is normal)

Basic Usage

After running, click on Explore the Greater Blue Mountains.

You should find yourself in Katoomba, looking at the three sisters.

Keyboard Controls

Click and drag mouse to look around in different directions

Move forward
Move backward
Move left
Move right
SpaceFly higher (when flying)
ShiftFly lower (when flying)
EnterSwitch from flying to walking and vice versa

Changing Location

By scrolling around the map

Zoom and move the map around. Click on the map to move to that location.

Search for a feature by name

Enter the name of a location or feature in the search box. Click the search icon.

The search results will show in a separate window. Double click one of the options to move to that location.

Moving to specific GPS coordinates

In the View menu, choose "Goto coordinate..."

Enter the GPS Coordinates in latitude, longitude format. e.g. enter "-33.732,150.312" to go to Echo Point Katoomba

Load elevation data for other areas

Elevation data for large areas of Australia can be downloaded from the ELVIS site.

In the File menu, choose "Load terrain data from your local computer...". Follow the prompts from there.

Display vegetation

GPX files

Creating GPS files

One useful feature is to record a GPS file you can then load into your phone or GPS device and use for navigation out in the bush.

Start the GPS recording by clicking the Start GPS Recording button in the GPS Recording box. As you start to walk around, a trail of orange balls shows where you have been.

Click the Save icon to save the route as a .gpx file. This file can then be loaded into your navigation app on your phone or GPS device.

Reading GPS files

You may have a gpx file you recorded on a trip to the bush. You can open this file on your computer to see where you were.

Click 'Load gpx file' and follow the prompts. The path will appear as a series of orange balls.

Multi monitor support

If you have multiple monitors, it is possible to display the 3D terrain view on one monitor and the Map on the other monitor.

In the View menu, choose "Multi-monitor". The map will be split off into a separate window. You can then move and resize that window as required.

Change view distance

The default view distance is set fairly low, to make sure the program runs on low spec computers. To increase this view distance:

In the View menu, choose "Options". Enter the new view distance. I find a value of around 20 is about right. If the view distance is set too high the program may run out of memory

Change sea level

It can be fun to simulate what changes of sea level would be like.

In the View menu, choose Change Sea Level. Enter the new sea level.

Areas below that elevation will now be underwater.