Friends of the British tourist who fell from a cliff in Sydney's eastern suburbs have defended the awful "mistake" that led to her death.

Madalyn Davis, 21, tragically plunged to her death at Diamond Bay Reserve in the affluent suburb of Vaucluse at 6.30am on Sunday.

Friends revealed the Instagram model had been at a party where she and seven friends decided to head to cliffs in the early hours of the morning to take a photo, news.com.au reported.

But her fateful quest to take a selfie has been met with criticism online, with streams of comments being left on her last ever Instagram post calling her last act "stupid".

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As a result, heartbroken friends have leapt to her defence.

"What happened to Maddy was a mistake and no one should be blamed especially not her," Meg Feather wrote on her Instagram account, adding "she didn't deserve it".

Another said: "Nobody needs to be commenting nasty or hurtful comments on her page, she has just lost her LIFE. It's so cruel to see. You should be utterly ashamed of yourselves."

"To all those making rude comments, just stop," another begged.

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Previously, friends had explained Madalyn had been at a party when she left with friends to go and take photos at the scenic spot.

"Maddy had been at a party and then they all went to this cliff to take pictures," friend Lydia Woodward told the MailOnline.

"It appears that Maddy was sitting on the cliff edge to have her picture taken when she fell. It's such a tragedy."

NSW Police told news.com.au an investigation was underway.

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Her sudden death has shocked many, including ex-boyfriend Kory Dargue who took to Instagram earlier to share an emotional post that detailed their relationship.

"Ups, downs, lefts, rights.... our relationship was pretty much a cheat code for Grand theft auto...but we always got through it... and we did it all together," he wrote on Instagram.

"Thankyou for the best few years of my life. A house, a car, a dog (kind of) a ski trip, allll the parties and festival and obviously, the greatest holiday in all mankind.... Disney land Florida."

Many described Ms Davis as a "talented" make-up artist after hearing the news.

"Such a beautiful soul, you just loved living life to the fullest, you was one of the nicest people, the most beautiful! you'll be missed soo much, you really was taken too soon," one wrote on Facebook.

The last photo of the model taken alive has also been shared on the social media platform. It shows her smiling while surrounded by friends in a Bondi Beach bar.

"Words cannot describe how much this hurts right now. Love you and thinking of you Rebecca Smith (Madalyn's mother) my heart is broken," another friend said on Instagram.

Another said: "Horrific news, hope you're being looked after up there."

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Ms Davis, who was from Lincoln in the UK, had travelled through Thailand and Bali in recent weeks before arriving in Australia, according to her social media accounts.

"Just six weeks until I jet off for my travels and everything I have worked for, done and been through will be worth it," she said to her 14,000 Instagram followers on September 30.

On December 14, she wrote: "Not looked back at my old life once (miss my job though) and I am super excited for my future abroad."

In further tributes posted on social media, friend Tommaso Fabri, from Newcastle, said: "I'm utterly destroyed … I was going to organise to go down to Sydney to see them, I would never have thought it would happen. She has such a gorgeous soul x."

Paris Lynn replied: "So sad isn't it. These things don't happen."

"RIP Maddie," Kelsie Fowler said.

The cliff off Oceanview Rd, Vaucluse. Photo / News Corp Australia
The cliff off Oceanview Rd, Vaucluse. Photo / News Corp Australia

Georgia Perry, also from Lincoln in the UK, shared a post that read: "Those who died yesterday had plans for this morning. And those who died this morning had plans for tonight. Don't take life for granted … you may never get to have that chance again."

Waverley Council, on its website, says the reserve has "excellent views over dramatic cliffs".

Hundreds of Google reviews have been written for the coastal cliffs that are popular for people wanting to take selfies and wedding photos.

Comments include: "They have now barricaded off the best part but you can still get some beautiful photos from the walk track", "took pre-wedding photos here … BUT need to be really careful" and "be cautious, it's not the safest place in the world".

Marine Rescue NSW said emergency services were called on Sunday morning "after a group of people taking photos inside the fence … regathered and could not find the woman".

Nine reported Ms Davis had left a party with friends earlier on Sunday in Rose Bay.

Footage obtained by multiple television networks shows a group of people walking along a nearby road on Sunday morning before scaling a fence at the popular and picturesque location.

One member of the group peers over the edge before they all vanish from sight.