I am planning to visit New Zealand for Christmas and New Years (two weeks). Four of us (adults) will be landing in Auckland and I was wondering what you suggest for seeing the best of both islands. The only plans so far are a hotel near a black sand beach (recommendations welcome) for the first two days. Then a trip to Matamata, Rotorua and Taupo (two days). Then I was thinking of either 1. driving back to Auckland and flying to South Island or 2. slowly meandering down through the north and south islands. Anyway, I would greatly appreciate your input, suggestions and recommendations.