If you are planning a bike ride on the South Island, you should consider whether you want to ride the official trail, cold, "New Zealand Cycle Trail", then you need a mountain bike and good shoes. It is very often steep (18 and more) and loose gravel, ...with luggage you might have a problem! The second way, you drive on "Asphalt". I chose the second one..!
If you decide to ride on asphalt, I recommend you: strong flashing rear light, rear-view mirror and something I always thought "stupid", ...a "spacer"! Sorry to write a bit "critical" first: New Zealand has many faces, on the one hand you see everywhere "New Zealand roads are different, allow extra time", or "Speed is lethal" (note the size of the truck at this link), but outside the villages "Tempo 100" is generally allowed. As you can see on my links, there is often not so much space for bikes on the side of the road.
On the west coast you are suddenly in the rainforest, and the birds whistle you a concert. The well-known kiwi bird is not "just like this", but here a small example of the "Tui"...
The campsites are basically very well equipped, clean showers, well equipped kitchens, lounges, barbecue area, etc. Often there are also "Cabins" for rent, ...it is a good and relatively cheap option when it is rainy. Restaurants or (small) supermarkets are nowhere on campings. On the way there is sometimes over 50-100km no "supermarket", especially Lindispass region - Mount Cook Village. If you want to travel without a tent, then you should organize better in advance, cabins are often fully booked. Note also, rain and wind are unpredictable and very violent, here is an example of "strong wind"! I had to push - although flat roads - the bike a few kilometers. 50km can be unexpectedly exhausting in such situations. Conclusion: New Zealand has many faces, as you see here and in the gallery, it is definitely never boring 🙂
There is no shopping and no accommodation between Napier and Taihape. I decided to ride with "low luggage". I rode the distance in 3 days, 430km, 5600hm! The New Zealand wind was heavy, this tour was really a challenge! The landscape here was also extremely varied. It goes from Napier over a little busy road into vine areas, later through a hilly forest to Taihape. Continue by an amazing volcanic area with a beautiful view of the "Ruapehu", and further to the Lake Taupo. There is a beautiful asphalt road until Napier, unfortunately not completely harmless, ...there is a lot of traffic with heavy big trucks. I recommend strong rear light, mirror and "spacer" on this section of the route. Well, for non-experienced cyclists: There are many regular buses from Taupo to Napier with very good connections. The bicycle transport on the bus wouldn`t be a problem. Taihape and Taupo offer various accommodation and shopping options. For more information and impressions I refer to the corresponding blog. (unfortuately only in German)
"Hawkes Bay" is a bay on the east side of the North Island. There is some information --> Hawkes Bay. After the English classes at New Horizon College, I enjoyed the beautiful area with vinejards, small hills and the beach. I refer to my blog with many beautiful impressions and pictures. (unfortunately only in German)