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Influencer Responds To Backlash After She Is Accused Of Swimming In A Sacred, Off-Limits New Zealand Spring

After posting a photo of herself in what some locals believed to be a sacred New Zealand spring, Instagram influencer Cleo Codrington finds herself in much hotter water.


Australian Instagram model Codrington and her boyfriend, Mitch Cox, have been touring New Zealand this month, posting photos from many of the country's gorgeous beaches and water features.




However, one particular set of photos drew the ire of many local Kiwis, because it appears to show Codrington wading through New Zealand's Blue Springs, where swimming is forbidden.




The Te Waihou Blue Spring in the South Waikato banned swimming in 2016 due to its "negative impact on the vegetation in the riverbed and on the banks."


Social media users expressed their frustration and outrage at Codrington and Cox:



CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram

The couple have pushed back against accusations, however, saying the photo was taken over 120 kilometers from the sacred Blue Springs. Codrington wrote on her Instagram:

"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."


Codrington's supporters backed her up on Instagram:



CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


CleoCohen/Instagram


There's no arguing with her point here:

"The last thing the environment needs is another overpopulated hotspot."

Tarawera Falls is well known among locals as a good place for hiking. Hopefully this far less controversial location is actually the setting of Codrington and Cox's photo. Beautiful images like these shouldn't be tainted by infringing on a country's sacred features.