OK, so heres my icecream scale for Auckland and probably the whole of NZ in terms of places I have travelled:
at the very bottom you have "Chateau" - really, really disappointing - dont go there...
next level probably Tip Top (wins points for Kiwi nostalgia value and milkiness but is mass produced tasting and overly sweet)
one notch up is probably killarney gold - better than tip top but still not amazing
keep going up the ladder (in price also) and you hit a more acceptable range of options for the icecream fanatic: kapiti and movenpick spring to mind - richer, better flavours - definitely hit the mark.
After this you can go 3 ways:
1) Move up the "poshness" scale for icecream and go for the ludicrously expensive Kohu Road - nice but to my mind not worth the hefty price tag, and Omaha Organic (only had the licquorice - very disappointing).
2) get disappointed at various gelatorias around the place which look like they might have good icecream but turn out to taste like they have been made from premix (thinking here of the place on ponsonby road which has been a real disappointment). Valentino's at the downtown ferry building is OK but wouldnt run a mile...
3) get yourself quick smart to the Takapuna Beach Cafe and try THE BEST ICECREAM IN NZ. http://www.takapunabeachcafe.co.nz
This stuff is so good I am really at a loss for words :)
But don't take my word for it - they scooped (sorry!) plenty of prizes at the May 09 icecream awards:
I've only tried the espresso gelato and the coconut/chocolate gelato - both were outstanding. Many other innovative flavours to try like feijoa and yoghurt, guava and liquorice....
Also, in one of those amazing and all too rare foodie "alignment of the planets", this place not only has great icecream it has a top location, right on Takapuna beach. When I went there it was a lovely sunny day and there was quite a queue - good to see as these guys are streets (sorry the puns continue!) ahead of everyone else!