Sure was; great weather, great views, great company, what more could you ask for except for legs that are 30 years or so younger.
Wow! I did it 20 years ago (1999): it took me 7 hours and I had to walk the last couple of km down stairs backwards.
I did it in the 1980s but no idea how long, but we did go up Mt Ngauruhoe
Any side trips off the main crossing seem to be frowned on now. No lack of people in whole range of clothing, some totally over prepared and other totally under prepared, jeans and Vans seemed to be the highlight (or low light)!