The partner of an Australian "influencer" touring New Zealand has hit back after she was accused of swimming in a forbidden spring.

Cleo Codrington's photos showed her wading through water at a location which viewers claimed was the Blue Springs near Putāruru, which was closed to swimmers in 2016 to protect it from the large visitor numbers that were having a negative impact on the vegetation and riverbed.

It is also a source of water for several bottling companies; 70 per cent of the water bottled in New Zealand comes from the area.

But Mitch Cox - Codrington's partner - tonight told the Herald the pair had been at Tarawera Falls; more than 120km away.

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The couple had not geo-tagged where the photos were taken as they did not want to encourage the serene spot to be flooded by hordes of visitors.

"We don't want to ruin the places," he said. "We want to protect them."

Codrington posted the photos taken by Cox to her Instagram account, where she has 132,000 followers, last week.

Users questioned whether she was in the Blue Springs, which she denied, saying "Nah it's not even near there, you can't swim at Blue Springs ... a secret spot we found elsewhere."

A photograph in Western Australia posted to his Instagram page by Mitch Cox. Photo / Instagram
A photograph in Western Australia posted to his Instagram page by Mitch Cox. Photo / Instagram

Another shot of Codrington sitting in a rock pool above Anawhata Beach on Auckland's west coast also landed her in hot water.

The infinity pool, known as the Mermaid Pools, is on land owned by up to 35 families, some of whom use the water for drinking at a farmstead and bach, according to one nearby resident.

The resident, who did not want to be named, said the owners previously didn't mind trampers, hikers and surfers going to the pool but with social media its popularity had increased so much that visitors were ruining the water.

"They want to copy it, they want to head there as well and not all of them are sensible."

The man said the rock pool was built into a rotting cliff face.

"Bits of it can crumble away at any point. There's a lot of risk there and they're not sensible. They're standing right on the edge, with one foot in the air.

"They also pee in the water and I've actually seen someone peeing off the cliff. It's become a problem."

Cox said the couple did not know they had travelled through private land or that the water was part of a drinking supply.

The Herald has viewed another photo posted to Instagram by another person showing three naked men lying on their stomachs in the pool.

"Probably over summer you'll 30 to 100 people a day trooping through those pools."

Mitch Cox has captured his and Cleo Codrington's travel adventures through Instagram posts like this photograph in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo / Instagram
Mitch Cox has captured his and Cleo Codrington's travel adventures through Instagram posts like this photograph in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo / Instagram

The resident said some of the owners had tried to trespass visitors but had been physically assaulted.

"It's a hard issue because it's a beautiful place and I've always held the notion that beautiful places should be open to all but it's got to be done with respect."

The resident said he was not a fan of social media when it was used to promote a person's perceived lifestyle.

"I've always felt that Instagram stars are generally irresponsible for a range of reasons. You're not going to stop them because part of the allure is they're slightly rebellious.

"The younger generation is like 'Fantastic, a hidden spot where I'm not supposed to go where I can get photos like that girl, yeah let's do it'."

Codrington and Cox are known in Australia for their global travelling adventures. Cox makes money from selling some of his photographs, according to interviews the Sydney couple have done.