Cleo Codrington responds– “I didn’t swim in ‘sacred’ lake!”

An Instagram model has been heavily criticized over a photo she recently posted. In that photo, Cleo Codrington, was taking a dip in a natural lake. Now this lake  is supposedly in New Zealand, and is viewed as ‘sacred’. Users blasted Cleo for breaking tradition, just to get likes. But in a recent statement, the IG model has hit back!

It started with an Instagram post

“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,” Cleo wrote on her post.

But this post rubbed the internet in a different way, after it turned out the lake is actually a protected water body in New Zealand.

According to fans, the water body is 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,” the Daily Mail reported.


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A post shared by Cleo Codrington (@cleocohen) on

In addition, the lake supplies about 70% of bottled water in New Zealand— which makes matters even worse for Cleo.

“There is a reason [it’s] this clean. [It’s] sacred and a sign of disrespect to Papatūānuku to swim here,” a user commented. “Not a single soul in sight, just one piece of rubbish floating in the water”, an angrier follower wrote.

“You’re always welcome in Aotearoa. But PLEASE learn the meaning of Kaitiakitanga and show our islands the respect they deserve.”

In no time, the story hit the internet and so many articles were published about Cleo.


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Cleo denies– says she didn’t swim in the lake they think she did

Her first go at clearing her name started in the comment section. While people rebuked her for swimming in the lake, Cleo responded to a few of them.

“Please don’t listen to untrue articles written about me,” she wrote. “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.”

However, when things got worse, the Instagram model issued an official statement in an individual IG post.

“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…”, she began’

“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!”

“I am a genuine advocate for sustaining, preserving and enjoying what beautiful natural environments we have remaining”, Cleo added. “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”.

“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”

“And also, don’t believe everything you read in the news ❤️ Love to everyone! ❤️“, Cleo concluded.


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A post shared by Cleo Codrington (@cleocohen) on

Instagram Model responds to claims that she swam in ‘sacred’ lake

Yes a response was given but was it accepted?

Some people were sure to leave comments on how they did not ‘buy’ Cleo’s explanation.

One user said, “if it’s all about the beauty of the environment and preserving it, do you really need to be in every single picture? Is there a reason for it I don’t understand?”

“Why be naked showing your ass in every photo if it’s about the environment?”, another asked, seeming to agree with the first comment.

Yet, her core fans still stood with Cleo, urging her to ignore the trolls and live her life.

“Screw everyone who criticizes you because their lives are so miserable they have to focus on finding fault with other people”, a fan said. “Well said, so much love and respect for what you do ❤️❤️❤️”, one comment read.

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