I am now in Wellington. We cycled from Tauranga to Wellington and survived! The route wasn't too mountainous but there was one killer mountain (an actual mountain) that was hard. It helps though when the mountain is in a national forrest and there are birds singing along, crickets and steam coming off the road, along with beautiful trees to take my mind off the getting the bike and me up part! The views coming down things are amazing as well, often the roads are bendy and you go round a corner and get a breathtaking view that almost makes me want to stop to take a picture - however going fast down hills is too mcuh fun normally to allow me to stop!
The long flat roads are harder to cycle on because you use the same musle again and again but there are brilliant road signs. In New Zealand there is a serious don't drink and drive or drive tired campaign but the signs are very to the point. I enjoy often being told about the risks of driving tired as I am usually pretty tired myslef. The level of directness is along the lines of Drink, Drive, Die though so it does keep me awake to see the next one!
The camping is going well, I am pleased with the tent, although it is not big! We have had one night camping in the rain and stayed dry, having waterproof panniers is very helpful. There is something amazing about cycling all day then arriving and getting to sleep outside. Most of the campsites have semi equiped kitchens though so we have been able to cook ok. We have now bought full camping stove equipment (I am not going to think about how we can carry stuff between us, so can be nearly self sufficient. This is necessary on South Island as there are lots of stretches where there is nothing for 80km so if you don't have food and water etc there is a problem.
I think South Island will be hard because it is mountainous but am looking forward to the challenge!
Other things that we have done is watch a sheep shearing competition which was a lot of fun, quite mesmirising in fact and the comentator made it sound like formula one racing although he often got the competitors mixed up! We have also taken a train where you can stand at the ends of the carriages, outside, in a fenced in area. It was breathtaking (literally as well as physically) but a lot of fun too.
I will email again when we get to a city and a rest day but we are planning on going south along the east coast of South Island for the next week or so and then to place with brilliant names like Twizel and Geraldine. Then on the Haast Pass!