Classic Kiwi holidays: finalists revealed in our Best of Summer campaign

Some things you don’t share, not even with your best mate (unless he or she told you in the first place). That secret fishing spot. That secluded bay on the West Coast. The shop where they serve a massive scoop of chips.

Well, we’re killjoys. Over the past few weeks we’ve asked Herald readers to nominate their favourite campgrounds, fish ‘n’ chip shops, playgrounds, beach walks and icecream or gelato shops, and now we’re sharing them with the rest of the country.

We chose those categories because we reckon they’re what make a classic Kiwi holiday, the treats that friends and families are enjoying while taking time out this summer, wherever in Aotearoa they may be.

Today, we’re announcing the top 10 reader favourites in each section. We’ll be profiling them over the next few days.

But here’s where things get serious – voting is open for the best of the Herald’s Best of Summer 2022 in each category.

To vote, scroll down this page and you’ll find the very simple voting form… Who will you choose as the country’s best of the best?


These days we’re a proudly multi-cultural nation so you can choose multi-national culture like mega-burgers or dumplings, samosa, falafel, taco and a hundred other takeaway suppers. But nothing says Kiwi summer quite like fish ‘n’ chips on the beach at sunset – served with seagulls, L&P and sauce. Of course, it must be Wattie’s. So, without further ado, your top 10.

Bobby’s Fresh Fish Market, Tauranga

Dulcie’s Takeaways, West Coast

JFC Paihia, Bay of Islands

Kai Kart, Stewart Island

Mangōnui Fish Shop, Northland

Market Galley, Auckland Fish Market

Ōpunake Fish, Chips and More, Taranaki

Pirimai Chippy, Hawke’s Bay

Raglan Fish Shop, Waikato

Skillet & Fillet, Snells Beach


So much for votes for women, climbing Everest, the first powered flight: here’s a world record we can really be proud of. New Zealanders have the planet licked when it comes to icecream. Each of us swallows an incredible 23 litres each year. Fun fact: During World War II, research concluded icecream had therapeutic benefits for shell-shocked soldiers. Tell us something we didn’t already know. Drum roll please, for . . .

Charlies Gelato, Matakana

Copenhagen Cones, Mt Maunganui

Duck Island, Hamilton

Iona Dairy, New Plymouth

Original Pōkeno Ice Creams, Waikato

Patti’s and Cream, Dunedin

Penguino, Browns Bay

Rush Munro’s, Hawke’s Bay

Scrunchy Millers, Milford, Auckland

The Kerikeri Gelato Company, Northland


It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Whoever wrote that clearly never spent four or five hours in the family car in a broiling Kiwi summer morning then pitched a tent under a pōhutukawa just a few steps from the Pacific. Or spent some quality time at any one of these hideaways beside the seaside. The envelope, please . . .

Fitzroy Beach Holiday Park, New Plymouth

Hahei Beach Resort, Coromandel

Houhora Heads (Wagner) Holiday Park, Northland

Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) Campsite, Northland

Kennedy Park Resort, Napier

Martins Bay Holiday Park, Auckland

Matauri Bay Holiday Park, Northland

Ōhope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, Bay of Plenty

Taupō Top 10 Holiday Park

Tawharanui Campground, Auckland


Swings and slides and seesaws and merry-go-rounds and the most important thrill of all: the bubbly, joyous, rising and falling sounds of children enjoying themselves. Here are 10 purpose-built, carefully planned but above all happy places that are a long way from the days of a towrope and an old tyre hanging from a branch above a swimming hole. But which will you vote as number one?

Anderson Park, Napier

Kōwhai Park, Whanganui

Lake Domain, Hamilton

Levin Adventure Park, Manawatū

Long Bay Regional Park, Auckland

Margaret Mahy Playground, Christchurch

Ōrewa Domain, Auckland

Pukekura Park Playground, New Plymouth

Takapuna Beach Reserve Playground, Auckland

Whangārei Town Basin Playground, Northland


Yes, the whole point of a summer holiday is to laze on a beach towel in the shade with a good book and an initially full chillybin. Keeping a close eye on the kids on the sand or in the water, of course. But from time to time, you have to rouse yourself and investigate the surroundings. After all, many of us have been cooped up for much of the year just so we could enjoy – and appreciate – these days of freedom.

Abel Tasman Coast Track, Nelson Tasman

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel

Coastal Walkway, New Plymouth

Kōhī Point Scenic Track, Ōhope

Mahinepua Track, Whangaroa

Milford-Takapuna, Auckland

Ōrewa Beach, Auckland

Papamoa Beach Walkway, Tauranga

Waikorire Track, Mauao Mt Maunganui

Waipū Coastal Walkway, Northland

Vote below or go to to vote for your favourites in each category. Voting closes at 11.59pm on Monday, January 24. The Best of Summer winners will be announced on Sunday January 30.

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