Middle Earth’s Best Ice Creams

The sun is shining, you are beach bound, living it up in your campervan, having the trip of your life, but there is still one thing that is missing… that’s right, ice cream. A summer is never complete without an ice cream (or ten) especially when you are in a dairy farm haven such as New Zealand. The ice cream in New Zealand is said to be creamier than anywhere else on earth, perhaps this is due to their history as a dairy producing country, or perhaps it’s due to their ice cream obsession, with the average Kiwi eating around 23 litres of ice cream each year.

As the winters can be quite cold in New Zealand, in the summertime Kiwis take advantage of the season to travel more… and eat more ice cream of course! What better excuse could one have for stopping the campervan for a few minutes, right? If you are looking to try some typical Kiwi flavours, try Hokey Pokey (creamy vanilla with honeycomb toffee lumps) or Goody Goody Gum Drops (bubblegum creamy wonderment with jelly pieces). My mouth is watering at the thought.

Pokeno Takeaways – New Zealand’s Biggest Ice cream

Location: Pokeno. Driving from Auckland to Hamilton, Rotorua or Matamata.  I doubt there would be one person on the North Island who would not know about Pokeno ice cream. If you are on the road heading towards Hamilton, Matamata or Rotorua, a quick five-minute detour will take you to a little lone set of shops on the side of the road. This place is very hard to miss, as there are always cars parked outside and herds of people on display licking their melting double decker ice creams. The reason Pokeno must be first on this list, is because it’s a bit of a Kiwi tradition, having served a few generations of ice cream loving Kiwis. The shop has changed over the years, so have the owners, but the ice cream still remains! Their famous specialty is the 18-scoop cone, which is the biggest ice cream in New Zealand, and let me tell you that if your eyes are often bigger than your stomach, you’ll certainly be struggling to finish even one or two scoops at Pokeno! If that’s not enough to tempt you, they also have a good 30-40 flavours to tickle your taste buds. Pokeno is 50km southeast of Auckland.


Giapo – The Designer Ice Cream

Location: Right in downtown Auckland.  Voted New Zealand’s best ice cream at the Ice Cream awards –Kiwis take their ice cream very seriously– Giapo is run by Gianpaolo Grazioli, an ice cream fashionista of sorts. Giapo describes his ice cream as: “transforming the most popular dessert in the world into something fashionable and artistic by paying attention to the smallest of details: textures, flavours [and] smells”. He calls his designer ice creams “haute cuisine” as in haute couture. Shying away from the usual Kiwi flavours, Giapo uses such flavours as beetroot, feijoa, mint, passionfruit, Fijian pineapple, tangelo, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Always sticking to local seasonal fruit and vegetables, this is his secret to beautiful ice cream.


Black Peak Homemade Gelato – Italian Artisan Tradition & Natural Ingredients

Location: Right on the lakefront in Wanaka.  An ice cream tradition that began 70 years ago in Tuscany, today Black Peak Gelato has become a household name on the other side of the world. Priding themselves on using the most natural local ingredients, their ice creams are colour and preservative free. Jon the owner makes his fresh gelato right inside his lake-front store, and the motto in this gelateria is “fresh is best”. Jon’s gelato is said to contain no air and lower fat content than other ice cream, and the sorbets are all dairy-free so there are lots of great options for vegans and lactose-intolerant ice cream lovers as well. On their menu, Black Peak has over 60 flavours that grace their counters throughout the year. The gelato is made into single flavours so that people can choose the combos that delight their taste buds the most… no matter how bizarre.

Written for: Share A Camper



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