Stephanie Holmes talks to some famous Kiwis to get their top picks for our Best of Summer campaign. Will you take their recommendations, or nominate your own personal favourites?
Best fish and chips: Last Easter, my partner and I took a motorhome and went travelling around Northland. I'm from Queenstown and I'd never gone up to North Cape and really explored much of Northland before so we did the whole thing over a long weekend. It was amazing and we found the best little fish and chip shops around the place. We spent a bit of time around the Kaipara Harbour as well and there's an amazing spot called Paparoa, which is a really cute wee town, and it has literally one of the best fish and chip shops I have ever found in New Zealand. The best potato fritters in the whole country.
Matty McLean is the weather presenter on TVNZ Breakfast
Best playground: When I was growing, up my favourite was Spencer Park in Christchurch, which at one point had three long, good flying foxes all in a row, and so you could race each other on them, which was so good. It was a true adventure playground.
I went to Christchurch's Margaret Mahy playground recently as an adult and it's one of those ones that if you visit after dark when the children have gone you can actually even play yourself. It is epic, it is so cool.
Comedian Brynley Stent hosts Billy T Jams at Auckland's Q Theatre on February 25. comedyfestival.co.nz
Best campsite: I've camped at Spirits Bay in Northland a few times and every time it's glorious. Every time I go, I think, "Jenny, manage your expectations because it was so amazing last time there's no way, it will be that amazing again". But it is that amazing. Beautiful sunsets and there are wild horses running out there and it's just such a quintessential Kiwi scene.
Jenny Suo is a TVNZ reporter and presenter
Best fish and chip shop: My all-time fave is Marinovich's in New Plymouth. It's a fish and chip shop/restaurant so you can go and sit down and have luxury fish and chips but you can also take it away. They do the best crispy batter but I think the best thing about it is, you sit and have your fish and chips and you have a coleslaw and the dressing they put on it - I would love to know the recipe - it just blows your mind.
Toni Street hosts Coast Breakfast and is the author of Lost and Found
Best playground: The Lake Taupō Holiday Resort has the best playground. They have the big jumping pillow, but the pool has a swim-up bar and that, by the way, is quite good for the adults. They have a big TV screen, so they play movies for the kids, the adults can hang out at the swim-up bar. It doesn't get better than that in my book.
Simon Gault is a chef and restaurateur. simongault.com
Best campsite: This is so Auckland but I always like to camp where you've got a nice restaurant relatively close. Goat Island is only an hour and a half from central Auckland and it's a marine reserve but also just down the road is the Leigh Sawmill. Or if you camp at Waipū, there's the Pizza Barn. So whenever I go camping, there has to be a place close by for when you think, "I've had enough, we're going to the restaurant, we're going to go and get some beers". That's killer camping in my mind.
Sam Wallace is a host on Coast Breakfast
Best icecream shop: My favorite is probably Little Island. There's one in the ferry terminal in Auckland, and there's also one on Waiheke. They do the most fun flavours and it's just awesome. Usually half of the flavours will be vegan, and then they'll also have normal dairy ice cream. That's really helpful for people who may be lactose intolerant or have allergies, it means they can still enjoy summer.
Iana Grace is an Auckland-based actor
Best icecream shop: When I was a kid, my favourite thing was a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of vanilla, double dipped in chocolate, from the Four Square down at Castlecliff beach. If you were patient, you could bite the bottom and often the chocolate and ice cream would melt inside and you'd get to drink it out of the bottom ... if you could wait that long.
Peter Gordon is a chef and restaurateur. homelandnz.com
Best fish and chip shop: See, Westmere in Auckland, everyone talks about the Westmere Butchery, which is great. But across the road, if you go to a little place called Happy Takeaways, they do a really good fish and chips there. Not a lot of people know that.
Jason Reeves is a host on Coast Breakfast
Best beach walk: I live in Mangawhai and there's a really cool clifftop walk at the beach here. You can go along the surf beach and then you just go up the steps and it takes about an hour and a half. You have to time it with low tide to come back down on the rocks but it's really special. You'll see seals and if you look really hard you can sometimes find pāua at low tide ... it's just a really special place.
Nicky Sinden is a fishing expert and TV presenter. facebook.com/nickysindenthatfishingchick
LAST CHANCE TO VOTE!
Sunday, January 9, is your last chance to submit your nominations in our Best of Summer campaign. We want to know your absolute favourites in five categories: Best campground; best fish and chip shop; best playground; best short walk, best icecream/gelato shop.
Enter below or go to nzherald.co.nz/bestof to find the simple entry form. Voting closes at 11.59pm tonight. From there, your entries will be counted and the 10 most popular nominees in each of the five categories will be named as our finalists. You will then be able to vote for the ultimate winners.