A real Kiwi summer road trip is not complete without an ice cream pit stop every few hours. On our travels around the country, we've visited more than our fair share of scoop shops and reckon we've narrowed it down to the top 10 spots to grab a scoop across New Zealand, with some honourable mentions too.
From luxe culinary experiences to classic kiwi dairies, we've got the country covered from far North to lower South. See all our picks on this map or keep reading to find out more.
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10 Best Ice Cream Stores in New Zealand:
1. Giapo - 12 Gore St, Auckland, 1010
Step into this store with an empty stomach and an open mind, you're about to receive a complete experience, not just a cone and a scoop. The team here take a unique, creative approach to ice cream, combining science, art, and culture to dream, develop, and deliver their incredible creations. Once you've placed your order, take a seat and wait for your creation to be assembled and adorned with carefully paired toppings and garnishes. Have your camera ready for its arrival, you're going to want to Instagram this!
The Gore Street store is open until 10.30pm Sunday to Thursday and 11.30pm Friday and Saturday, perfect for those late night arrivals in the big smoke.
2. Kaffee Eis - Shop 2/ 236 Oriental Parade (+ 4 other locations)
As they say, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and, a good day is only made better with a stop in at Kaffee Eis. Grab an ice cream and stretch those legs with a stroll around the waterfront. Kaffee Eis has 5 locations around the waterfront and CBD. From each, they serve over 45 flavours of gelato and sorbetto (dairy-free), 29 of which have won awards, some multiple times.
3. Duck Island - 300a Grey St, Hamilton East, Hamilton 3216
Plan a pit stop in Hamilton just to pop into Duck Island Ice Cream. Pick up a scoop or two and wander along the Waikato River to stretch your legs after a long drive. The team at Duck Island have developed over 40 creative flavours, including many dairy-free and gluten-free options. Some of their more whacky flavours include pear, miso caramel and gingerbread; blackberry, sage and honey; and rhubarb Szechuan peppercorn.
4. Roll up - 11 Bow St, Raglan, 3225
If you look down Bow Street, the main street of Raglan township, on any given day throughout summer, you’re likely to see a long queue winding its way out of Roll Up. The store offers 19 tasty flavours of ice cream, as well as smoothies, and real fruit ice creams made with fresh fruit. They also make delicious burritos and wraps if you’re in need of something more substantial.
5. Te Kao Local Store - 6650 Far N Rd, Te Kao 0484
After a long day driving to the top of the North Island and then walking to the Cape Reinga lighthouse, there is nothing more satisfying than tucking into a tower of ice cream scoops at the Te Kao store. Located approximately 30 minutes from Cape Reinga, this scoop shop is well known in Northland and internationally, as it was once featured in Lonely Planet. If you're absolutely ravenous, go for a “whoppa stoppa” which is six scoops of Tip Top goodness.
6. Copenhagen Cones - 14 Adams Ave, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 3116
This place is a bit of an institution in Mount Maunganui so, beware, there can be long queues at peak times over summer months. The wait is totally worth it though as one of their freshly made waffle cones, topped with a large scoop of your choice of ice cream, as well as a squirt of whipped cream and a swirl of with gooey sauce will replenish the soul after a hike up the mount or a day at the beach.
7. Black Peak Gelato - 5/123 Ardmore St, Wanaka 9305
This spot is a little slice of Italy on the waterfront of Lake Wanaka! The team at Black Peak follow a 70-year-old traditional recipe and use vintage Carpigiani gelato machines to craft authentic gelato and sorbet. They incorporate local seasonal produce to create their range of classic and creative flavours which are light and refreshing, perfect for a pit stop on a long drive.
8. Pokeno Takeaways - 57 Great S Rd, Pokeno 2471
We’re pretty sure this is where you'll find the cheapest and largest cones in the country. Get one scoop for $2, two scoops for $3, four scoops for $5, eight scoops for $9, and a whopping 15 scoops for $18 - we challenge you to that! It’s fairly common to get stuck in crazy traffic as you head south out of Auckland on summer weekends so, we recommend a quick ice cream stop Pokeno to ease the road rage.
9. Patagonia Chocolates - 50 Lakefront, Beach Street, Queenstown 9300 (+ 2 other locations)
Loved by both locals and tourists, you'll often find a queue out the door of Patagonia at peak ice cream consumption hours. From their three stores, Queenstown, Wanaka, and Arrowtown, they serve up a range of award-winning artisan ice creams, sorbets and frozen yoghurts in cups or delicious waffle cones. We recommend grabbing a scoop from their store in Central Queenstown and heading upstairs to relax on the comfortable sofas and admire the views over the lake, as well as the work of the chocolatiers in the kitchen to the rear.
10. Utopia Ice - 15 Wakefield Ave, Sumner, Christchurch 8081
Park near the surf lifesaving club and head along the beach and through Cave Rock to grab an ice cream from Utopia (or our honourable mention, Sumner Ice Cream Parlour). Enjoy your scoop of French-style ice cream, made the old fashioned way, while you walk along Sumner Beach towards the Scarborough clocktower. If you have kids, the playground in Scarborough park or the paddling pool to keep them entertained for hours and help them burn off the sugar.
- Sumner Ice Cream Parlour and Takeaways - 22A Esplanade, Sumner, Christchurch 8081
- Maddens Ice Cream Parlour and Pizzeria - 3 Grange Road, Hahei 3591
- Charlie’s Gelato - 17 Sharp Rd, Warkworth 0982
- Phil Greig Strawberry Gardens - 464 SH 16, Kumeu 0892
- Lick This - 290 Marine Parade, Napier South, Napier 4110
- Iona Dairy - 204 St Aubyn St, New Plymouth 4310
- Lady Jane - 1092 Tutanekai St, Rotorua 3010
- I Scream for Ice Cream - 37 Kimbolton Rd, Feilding 4702
- Renall Street Store - 164 Renall St, Masterton 5810
- Rob Roy Dairy - 500 George St, North Dunedin, Dunedin 9016
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