Just had to write something here as I'm so proud having just returned from my first ever cycle tour!! My partner and I went from Hastings to Wellington in New Zealand's North Island and returned by bus. Clocked up 332km in mainly flat terrain (with 2x350m hills). Stayed in hostels, motor camps and cheap hotels. It took us 3 days and one evening with some headwinds and some tailwinds.
It all went very smoothly apart from my rear tyre giving way and needing replacing (thankfully near Masterton, and the shop had an after hours number in the window - thanks Lambert Cycles!!!).
Anyway, we're pleased as punch!! To anyone else considering a cycle tour, it comes highly recommended!!!!
BTW, you can cut a piece of tyre to use as a tyre boot, this can get you out of trouble and to the next town (I've never had to do it, but I did donate mine to a bloke who flatted in front of me on the recent Great Tassie Bike Ride - worked a treat for the rest of the ride).
I'm in Christchurch in May and planning to do some day- or overnight-touring in Canterbury while I'm there. New Zealand really is an incredible place to visit. The beer and the Pinots are awesome, too. Pity about the cricket and rugby teams, though.
I've also heard that you can use a folded dollar bill for a boot. Wait a minute - you're in New Zealand. I don't know what kind of paper money you have. Anyway.... I went on a tour with a guy who had a tire blowout and was cutting pieces of stuff to use as a boot, with varying success. I was going to be in stretches where bike tire availability was zero for days, so at the next opportunity I bought a spare tire and carried it the rest of the way. Of course, I didn't need it, and I've never needed one, but I still think I'd carry one if I was venturing far from civilization.
Cheers on a great tour. When I was a kid my older brother rode 60 miles to a state park with just a sleeping bag. He and his buddy slept under a picnic table, then rode home the next day. I thought it was the coolest-sounding thing ever.