I began the TA (not TAT, which is incorrect) in 2015. When I started, I wanted an achievable adventure that didn't require a lot of planning, that highlighted major areas of NZ, and the aspect you all seem to be forgetting, the likelihood of randomly meeting Kiwis all over the country.
As many of you know, I only did the North Island, and even then, didn't walk every step.
I fairly quickly realised that the TA doesn't really highlight shit, but instead was simply put where it is for the sake of continuity.
I often get asked if I'll finish the TA.
My answer is probably not.
Far greater adventures to be had in NZ!
Also though, don't discount those who are using it as a way to figure out what else they want to do.
In Nepal this time round, I'm almost certainly just doing EBC and Annapurna. But one of the main things that I'll be doing whilst there is figuring out what I can sink my teeth into next time I'm there. And getting some important experience with altitude.
Not everyone has the true backcountry skills of say Madpom, Gaiters or Honora. Doesn't mean their own sense of achievement should be diminished in any way. Whether they do the TA, or even a day walk or two.
TA no longer holds any appeal for me whatsoever. But I still had a kick-arse 3 months running amok a couple of years ago. ;)
Only two questions should we really be asking trampers at any level: 1. Did you enjoy yourself? 2. Did you do the right thing and respect fees/recommendations/other track users?
If those two questions are honestly answered positively, then they had a great tramp; no matter what the level of difficulty, duration, amount of planning required.
Hi all, when I read about TA, I assumed it had to be going through the best parts of NZ. It was marketed as such. Most of my homework was based on teararoa.org.nz only, so I turned a blind eye to what else was there. But while walking it I realized I was missing out on a lot, I would stumble upon some magazine showing a place I thought I would rather be walking to... but like some of the other TA walkers, it was also about satisfaction of finishing what you started..
I would not walk TA again, I thought I wanted to do NOBO... There's a so much better out there..