Wilderness

Same Ship, DIFFERENT DAY

AFTER 15 YEARS OF SKIPPERING, Abel Tasman AquaTaxi operator Spencer Bailey has seen it all – the good, the bad, and the smelly.

From the North American visitor who spent a night up a tree because he thought he saw beer poo on the track, to the hiker who smelled so bad he was forced to swim before boarding, it’s impossible to predict what a new day will bring.

“You can’t have a big group of people without a few tossers in the mix,” says Bailey.

Regular offenders leave their rubbish behind, steal nights in the park or try to run off without paying for their taxi, but some visitors are so bizarre, staff are still scratching their heads, years later.

Bailey’s colleagues were once shocked to find a brand new tent, stocked with new sleeping bags, mattresses, packs and clothes abandoned at the Anchorage campsite. The owners, having done their dash with camping, had booked a ride out and couldn’t be bothered taking their expensive new gear.

Despite the huge numbers of visitors using the park, Bailey says it’s extremely rare for walkers to get

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