Australian Instagram Model Accused of Swimming in 'Sacred' Natural Springs in New Zealand, Rubbishes Claim (See Pictures)
Instagram model slammed for swimming in pristine natural spring (Photo Credits: cleocohen Instagram)

An Instagram model has received the ire of social media users for posting photos of her wading through sacred water where swimming is banned. Australian couple Cleo Codrington and Mitch Cox were travelling around New Zealand this month from where they posted the photos. The pictures show Cleo wading through pristine blue-coloured clear water amidst lush greenery. While Cleo had not geotagged the location, social users claimed that it was New Zealand's Blue Springs, where swimming is banned.

As the pictures went viral criticisms began to pour in. One of the comments read, "So sad to see you posting a photo of the Blue Springs, Putaruru. Not only are you swimming somewhere that is taonga (treasure) but you're posting it on social media- encouraging others to do the same. Learn to respect the whenua of Aotearoa (family of New Zealand)!" The Risks Behind Perfect Instagram Pictures! 5 Instabloggers Including Kelly and Kody Who Got Slammed For Going Overboard With Their Photos.

Here are the pictures that caused social media outrage:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cleo Codrington (@cleocohen) on

 

However, the couple rubbished the claims and said that it was a completely different river. Mitch Cox told NZ Herald that they were at Tarawera Falls which is more than 120km away from Blue Springs. The couple said they had not purposely geo-tagged the location as they did not want to encourage the place to be flooded by tourists.

Follow the outrage, Cleo took to Instagram explaining that she had not violated any rules or laws. She writes, "This IS NOT Blue Springs, but a completely unrelated river system and area in NZ, and yes, the locals and owners said we could swim!" Chinese Artist Slammed for Clicking Nudes with Dad’s Skeleton! Says ‘It’s the Closest I’ve Felt with Him’ (View Pic)

Check out the post below:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A heartfelt letter from me to you ❤️ I don’t feel like I owe anyone an explanation, there’s a whole world of people out there entitled to their own opinions and beliefs (although maybe in a less abusive and more justified manner.) But when lies are published falsifying your character and everything you stand to believe - it can be slightly soul crushing. I am a genuine advocate for sustaining, preserving and enjoying what beautiful natural environments we have remaining. Adventure’s not based off geotags or “getting the shot” and especially not at the expense of the environment. It’s not about promoting big tourist attractions or showcasing spots so they become overrun and abused, (Which unfortunately has happened to places like Blue Springs.) This IS NOT Blue Springs, but a completely unrelated river system and area in NZ, and yes, the locals and owners said we could swim! 💕 New Zealand is an amazing country that should be looked after and appreciated and I will continue to live my simplistic lifestyle and enjoyment of photography as it enriches my soul. There’s a lot of beauty out there in the world, you don’t have to stick to the tourist path to see the best of the best. And also, don’t believe everything you read in the news ❤️ Love to everyone! ❤️

A post shared by Cleo Codrington (@cleocohen) on

 

In 2016, Blue Springs in North Island near Putāruru, which was closed to swimmers in 2016 to protect it over tourism. The place had been receiving a lot of visitors affecting is vegetation and riverbed. It is also a source of water for a number of bottling companies. In fact, 70 per cent of the water bottled in New Zealand comes from the area.