Westport campers awake to find wads of cash on their cars and tents

by RNZ / 10 December, 2018
Campground owners Jesse and Jessica Paley-Atkins with their children Ithaca-Jane and Beau. Photo: Supplied

Campground owners Jesse and Jessica Paley-Atkins with their children Ithaca-Jane and Beau. Photo: Supplied

Holidaymakers at a remote campground north of Westport awoke to find wads of cash had been left for them yesterday morning.

More than $6800 was anonymously left under windscreen wipers and at tent doors all around the Gentle Annie Seaside Accommodation and Camping Ground.

Owner Jesse Paley-Atkins believes the cash was doled out between midnight and 2am, because some campers heard noises around this time.

Most people found $200 to $300 on their car or tent.

"It seems an unknown person has distributed what turns out to be nearly $7000... in $50 and $100 denomination notes to all the cars in the campground, under the window wipers, and outside tent doors, and in the bathrooms of the camping grounds - pretty much anywhere campers would wake up to find it," Mr Paley-Atkins said.

Money left under a camper's windscreen wipers. Photo/Supplied

"It's a complete mystery - there has been no note or indication from the person or people who have done it.

"It is a large area, so somebody has run around laboriously doing it with a sack... or had a couple of helpers."

Happy campers were thrilled with their morning windfalls.

"A lot of campers just came in asking us what was going on and perhaps thinking that we might have been giving them a Christmas present or something," Mr Paley-Atkins said.

"The campground was a bit of a buzz this morning as everyone woke up to find the money."

Read more: Night riders: The Sikh community's Free Kitchen helps the homeless

Although the gesture looks like extreme kindness, to be on the safe side Mr Paley-Atkins gathered all the money up and handed it to the police to decide.

He made a list of the campers who found money and hopes they will get it back soon.

"Perhaps it's a large act of generosity that's fairly unlikely these days - it's pretty heart-warming to be involved in," he said.

This article was first published on Radio NZ.

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