The day after Christmas I got the best gift of all. My friend Sandy flew all the way from Boston to do a 3 week road trip around New Zealand with me! She skipped the 25th of December all together (it's fine, she's Jewish) to get here and we had a joyous reunion at the airport consisting of the kind of jumping up and down and high-pitched shrieks that only obnoxious American girls can provide.
We picked up our fully-equipped Spaceship camper van, had a big catch-up night in Auckland then hit the road in the morning for an afternoon at Piha Beach on the west coast.
Piha is a little beach town that's famous for it's black sand, surf culture and intense waves (it's also where the reality show "Piha Rescue" is filmed). We enjoyed the strong sun, a hike up the very steep Lion Rock, fresh fish and chips and the pretty horses.
Our Spaceship camper van was awesome the whole trip. Driving on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right side of the car (and the windshield wipers/blinker sides reversed) was a bit of trip. We adapted quickly though, with only a few panicked screams of "left side! left side!" when turning onto an intersection. But that's all part of the adventure.