Australian Instagram star Cleo Codrington has hit back after criticism of her Instagram post. Picture: Instagram
Australian Instagram star Cleo Codrington has hit back after criticism of her Instagram post. Picture: Instagram

Aussie model defends pic after backlash

An Australian Instagram model has hit back after criticism over an untagged photo she posted to the social media platform of her swimming in a serene lake in New Zealand.

"There's no better way to travel (than) to stumble across these gems unexpectedly. Not a single soul in sight or a piece of rubbish - my idea of perfection," wrote Cleo Codrington, who is travelling through the country with her partner, Mitch Cox.

 

Though the picture was not tagged with any location other than New Zealand, followers were quick to attack Codrington for swimming in what they believed to be Te Waihou Blue Springs - a picturesque water system that has banned swimmers since 2016 for having a "negative impact on the vegetation in the riverbed and on the bank," Daily Mail reported.

"There is a reason (it's) this clean. (It's) sacred and a sign of disrespect to papatuanuku to swim here," one person commented on the photo.

"You're always welcome in Aotearoa but PLEASE learn the meaning of Kaitiakitanga @cleocohen and show our islands the respect they deserve," another angry at the photo wrote.

"Just nature, you, and 133k people. It would've been beautiful if it came with respecting other people's laws & land," another wrote.

"Swimming in sacred waters to sell necklaces?" another comment read, referring to the Instagram influencer's Etsy shop.

However, after the controversy, which was covered by the NZ Herald, Codrington responded to the backlash, claiming she and Cox were not at Blue Springs, but another idyllic location that is not off limits to swimmers.

"Please don't listen to untrue articles written about me. This was at the Tarawera Falls River NOT Blue Springs. I didn't want to reveal the location because I'm a big believer in preserving the hidden gems and the environment, not all places should be geotagged," she wrote in a comment.

 

Codrington then posted another, longer statement, further defending her swimming hole.

"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," she wrote in a caption.

"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!"

 

Many of her 134K followers came out in support of Codrington, claiming they know she would not have broken the law just for a photo.

 

"Cleo ignore all these negative comments, I 100% know that you and Mitch are environmentally aware and respectful to the sites you visit and am thankful that you don't tag all the locations in order to preserve them. People are so quick to pass judgment!! keep living the dream, I absolutely love your posts and am inspired by them daily, big love xxx," one follower wrote.

"Keep the beautiful work you guy (sic) have been doing. Garbage is not only thrown to oceans but to people as well, don't let this garbage affect you," another commented.

The Instagram-famous pair are known for their travel pages, which feature the couple in many tourist destinations and off-the-beaten-path locations around the world.

This story was originally published on Fox News and is republished with permission.


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