A weekend roadie isn’t complete without a quick visit to a side-of-the-road strawberry farm. Come November, real fruit ice cream becomes a staple in many Aucklander’s summer diet. Whether you’re an all-round ice cream fan or a steadfast yoghurt lover, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite spots where you can get your hands on this summertime goodness.
The Strawberry Farm
So you’ve finally dropped all the extended family back to the airport (hooray!) but need to kill some time and wait for that traffic jam on the motorway to clear? Head to The Strawberry Farm on Kirkbride Road in Mangere. They offer both ice creams and shakes, made from freshly picked strawberries (or freshly frozen if not in season). If the cone alone doesn’t cut it, they also have hot pancakes made fresh daily loaded with syrup and strawberries. The Strawberry Farm is inexpensive and serves up ice cream the size of your head. Even though it’s a little out of the way, The Strawberry Farm is absolutely pumping during the weekends in summer, with a jam-packed car park and lines out the door. They also have a small selection of cheap veges, which have usually been picked that morning. Don’t forget to bring cash, last we heard they don’t accept Eftpos.
If you get lost on the back roads of Alfriston/Ardmore, the giant strawberry mascot will guide you home, or at least to some of the juiciest berries around. Strawberry Corner has friendly staff, good parking, and a clean store. You can relax in the shade of the giant strawberry, or bask in the summer sun while enjoying a real fruit yoghurt or dairy ice cream in a waffle cone. Strawberry Corner offers a ‘pick your own’ experience, they will give you a basket and off you go into the fields to eat as many as you can.
Matakana Ice Cream Truck
Perched on the sidewalk in the main town centre of Matakana, this no-nonsense ice cream van is just what you need after a long day at the beach. They offer strawberry and mixed berry yoghurt and ice cream options. The Matakana Ice Cream Truck is great for a grab-and-go on the way back to the bach, or in-between Four Square runs. We highly recommend this unassuming pit stop if you’re needing to escape the throngs of Aucklanders with strollers at the Saturday markets.
Phil Greig Strawberry Ice Cream
If you’re heading out West, Phil Greig’s is the place to go for a creamy strawberry treat. This one is definitely worth making a U-turn on the main highway to double-back for. Plenty of parking and seating, as well as coffee that isn’t bad, makes this one a great rest stop for the family. If real fruit ice creams aren’t your thing, then for one you’re reading the wrong article, but two, they have a decent selection of gelato flavours and smoothies as well as delicious servings of waffles.
Desperate for a midweek local fix, or dragged from eclectic op-shop to op-shop and in desperate need of a guilt-free refreshment? Tart Bakery is a vegan’s dream, offering a selection of plant-based delights, including dairy-free ice cream. Made with locally grown strawberries, Tart’s real fruit ice cream is so good it makes you doubt their ‘animal-free byproduct’ claims. While you’re there, give their apple strudel with vegan custard a try. Go on, it would be rude not to...