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The 5 Best Ice Creams in Christchurch NZ for Brain Freeze Bliss

I still regret the one time I had the brilliant idea to whip up my own ice cream at home. I used an old ice cream maker I found at the thrift store and a random recipe from Pinterest.

Long story short, it came out nothing like ice cream—it could only be described as a frosty abomination. 

Which is why I decided to leave the delicate craft of ice cream to the professionals and just enjoy the fruits of their labor! In doing so, I’ve treated myself several times to the best ice cream Christchurch has to offer—and if you’re a fellow ice cream fan, I’ll tell you which ones stand out most today.

How much does ice cream cost in Christchurch, New Zealand? 

A single scoop from an ice cream shop in Christchurch, New Zealand costs at least 6 NZD. This price is just an estimate. The price will vary depending on whether you get a cone, more scoops, toppings, etc. 

How I Chose

Taste and Flavour Range: I wanted to find places that consistently offered rich, creamy, and indulgent ice creams. I also looked for variety—unique flavours that went beyond the usual vanilla and chocolate. 
Local Ingredients: I preferred ice cream parlours that sourced their ingredients locally. Shops that proudly displayed their use of Canterbury milk, local berries, and other fresh ingredients scored high on my list. 
Ambience and Atmosphere: I paid attention to the atmosphere of each shop, whether it was a cosy little parlour with vintage décor or a modern space with chic seating. The ones that offered a friendly, welcoming environment were more appealing. 
Customer Service: The shops where the staff were knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and eager to offer samples got a big thumbs up from me. I appreciated when servers could suggest flavours and seemed genuinely passionate about their ice cream. 

1. Utopia Ice Sumner

ADDRESS15 Wakefield Avenue, Sumner, Christchurch 8081, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS+64 3 326 6768

Utopia is one of my absolute go-tos for satisfying my sweet tooth. Their ice cream is high-quality, fresh, and tasty. 

One of my favourite things is how their flavours change regularly—whether it’s apricot and lavender or salted caramel brownie. But of course, if you’re a bit of a traditionalist, they’ve got vanilla too. 

And for all the vegans amongst us, they have coconut-based ice creams that are incredibly creamy and satisfying—you won’t even miss the dairy one bit. 

My only gripe? The parking is a total headache, even worse than street parking. I’d recommend just looking for street parking or taking public transport to go here, honestly.


  • Creative flavors
  • High-quality ice cream
  • Vegan options available 


  • Difficult parking 

Customer Reviews

Charming ice cream parlor presents a diverse selection of waffle creations

“This charming ice cream parlor presents a diverse selection of 

 creations; non-greasy and crafted with homemade ingredients, guaranteeing wholesome flavors in every mouthwatering bite. The cozy and cute courtyard setting further enhances the overall experience.”

They have a variety of unique flavours 

“Pistachio is my go-to flavour when visiting this ice cream shop. The photo being shared though, is their home made waffle which is also sought after. They have a variety of unique flavours to satisfy your different cravings. This is such a cute spot in this coastal village where it is pleasant to visit any time of the year. Definitely a must try when visiting Sumner.”

2. The Gelato Lab

ADDRESS5/132 Opawa Road, Opawa, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Sunday - 11 AM to 5PM

The Gelato Lab has an awesome mix of unique and classic flavours that keep many coming back for more. 

Their saffron rose ice cream is the kind of flavour that makes you close your eyes and just savour the moment. And then there’s the chocolate hazelnut for anyone looking for something incredibly chocolatey and so satisfying.

But I liked how they aren’t afraid to experiment with flavours like Indian summer or caramelised fig. Trust me, I know it sounds weird, but they’re actually pretty good.

And in the times I’ve gone, I could tell the staff love what they do and are deeply committed to sustainability, which honestly makes many love them even more.

Now, the place can get pretty busy, especially on weekends. And yes, it’s on the pricier side. But trust me, the quality makes it worth the splurge.


  • Unique flavours
  • Delicious ice cream
  • Passionate staff


  • Can get a bit crowded
  • May be a bit expensive

Customer Reviews

You can get 2 flavors for one serving

“Great Ice-cream/Gelato. Generous with servings and let you customize your scoop by letting you buy one scoop and splitting it 50/50 so you can get 2 flavors for one serving. Staff are nice and friendly, they let you have testers.”

They have the most adventures options I’ve seen in any ice cream shop 

“My wife and I try and make it here once a week. The flavours are always changing and they have the most adventures options I’ve seen in any ice cream/gelato shop. Such a treat! Definitely recommend!”

3. Airstream Icecream

ADDRESS12 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS+64 21 320 169

OPERATING HOURSMonday to Friday - 7:15 AM to 4 PM

Saturday & Sunday - 9 AM to 4 PM

Fan of fruity ice cream? Airstream Icecream uses real fruit in their ice creams, crafting each batch fresh daily. 

It was honestly hard to choose from their wide variety of flavours, but the boysenberry and passion fruit totally stole my heart! The texture was soft and creamy, melting in my mouth.

What really made Airstream Ice Cream stand out, though, was their friendly service. The staff there seemed genuinely happy to help me and others in line find their next favourite scoop. 

BTW, they can get pretty busy, which isn’t surprising given their popularity. So, don’t be shocked if there’s a bit of a wait. Seating is limited too, so you might find yourself enjoying your ice cream on the go.


  • Delicious fresh fruit ice cream
  • Creamy and soft texture
  • Helpful staff


  • There might be a bit of a wait
  • Seating is limited

Customer Reviews

I love how many options there are

“I happened upon this absolute treasure on my walk towards the botanical gardens and I’m so happy that I stopped! They charge $7 for a medium and $9 for a large (I’m not sure if there’s a small option). I ordered a medium mixed berry at the recommendation of the person taking my order, and it was amazing! They don’t skimp out on fruit and I love how many options there are. Despite it being quite busy while I was there, I received my order within 10 minutes. They close at 4:30pm.”

Real fruit ice cream was so good 

“LOVED IT! Real fruit ice cream was so good and lots of flavours to choose from. Also visited for coffee which was great. Such a cute spot to take a break from exploring Hagley Park. Will definitely be back :)”

4. Paleta NZ

ADDRESS255 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
OPERATING HOURSMonday to Sunday - 11 AM to 10 PM

Paleta NZ’s speciality is ice cream sticks and you can choose from any of their flavours (I got overwhelmed when choosing mine), a coating, and an array of toppings.

The toppings are plentiful and varied, ranging from classic favourites like M&Ms and sprinkles to almonds, caramel sauce, and more. Honestly, the combinations are seemingly endless. 

Beyond the ice cream sticks, the shop also offers “Poptails” (yes, alcoholic ice cream) milkshakes, smoothies, and classic scoops.

The one thing I did note, though, was that service can be slow. It’s fast more often than not, but there are a few times when it’s just a bit more sluggish than I’d like. And if you’re not a fan of crowds, this might not be your go-to spot as it’s often packed!


  • Customizable ice cream sticks
  • Lots of toppings and fun flavours
  • “Poptails” for adults 


  • Occasionally slow service 
  • Can get crowded 

Customer Reviews

The ice cream is so creamy and good

“The ice cream is so creamy and good so many flavors to choose from. we go here every time we go to Little high, which is quite a lot lol. definitely recommend!!!”

The best dulce de leche ice cream in several years

“I’ve had the best dulce de leche ice cream in several years. It reminded my childhood at Uruguay. The strawberry flavor was also great but dulce de leche was next level. We were attended by the owner, she was so kind and friendly. We highly recommend this place for ice cream and Gelato lovers. It is must stop if you are in Christchurch.”

5. Halswell Real Fruit Ice Cream

ADDRESS190 Awatea Road, Wigram, Christchurch 8025, New Zealand
CONTACT DETAILS+64 210 444 529

OPERATING HOURSSaturday & Sunday - 12 PM to 5 PM

Halswell Real Fruit Ice Cream is the ice cream spot for fruit lovers, but a little heads up: you won’t find non-fruit flavours here.

When I went, I had the blueberry, and every lick was like enjoying a handful of just-picked berries. It was refreshing and bursting with flavour. Their ice cream didn’t taste overly sweet or artificial either – just wonderfully balanced.

Others I spoke to agreed with me on this. Plus, you’re definitely not getting baby scoops here.

The staff here are also not just efficient but super cheerful. They genuinely seem happy to chat and help you choose the best flavour combo (if you can’t decide that is).

However, it’s a grab-and-go ice cream spot. So, be prepared to enjoy your cone while strolling around or, like me, in the car. 


  • Delicious fruity flavors
  • Generous scoops
  • Friendly staff


  • No seating available
  • No non-fruity flavours 

Customer Reviews

The raspberries ice cream cone ended up being much bigger than I thought

“I saw this place driving through Wigram on a hot day and instantly decided to give it a go! I ordered the raspberries ice cream cone, which ended up being much bigger than I thought. The raspberry favour was so good! It had a strong raspberry flavour with lots of chunks in it, they definitely use a lot more raspberries per ice cream than most real fruit places! I would definitely come here again if I get the craving.”

This might be the best I’ve ever had

“Its hard to review a fresh fruit ice cream but this might be the best I’ve ever had. Run by a beautiful family with a shop setup in the neighborhood of Wigram and Halswell. A definite must go for anynone around this part of our beautiful city!”