A Suffolk Park resident has today taken to Facebook to slam the visitors who come to her town for a holiday, after spending a year backpacking through the majestic Balinese hinterland.

Nicole Cooke, who moved to the area from Highgate Hill in Brisbane’s inner south four-and-a-half years ago, believes that tourists are destroying what she came to enjoy, whilst insinuating that they have no right to be there and even suggesting laws be introduced to keep them out.

Cooke, 33 and who’s occupation is unclear, is somewhat of an expert in the field of tourism, with an impressive collection of jewellery and instagram photos from destinations all over South East Asia and even Africa.

We caught up with Nicole for a discussion on this hot topic today, which began after she performed her own welcome to country ceremony, singing a song she said was “given” to her by an elder of the local Bundjalung mob.

“This is sacred land” she stated. “People just come here to shop and drink and go swimming. Surely they can do that somewhere that isn’t where us people are just trying to live day-to-day away from the hustle and bustle”.

She began referring to her experiences traveling the world to explain her argument. “When I travel – and I have been to many places – I don’t go to the popular spots”. She declared. “They’ve become too Westernised. I prefer to visit more remote places, experience the real culture, immerse myself in the local rituals and way of life”. She then opened Instagram on her phone. “See? Where i. danger of losing that here”.

We asked how she managed to find her way into such remote places, she explained. “There’s some really beautiful people out there that help you find your way off the beaten track. You just give them some money and they make things a lot easier. They drive you around and find you somewhere comfortable to sleep. They take you to places with wild animals and orphaned children. It really opens your mind. Not like those travel agents, they’re just big business tycoons. They don’t care for the privacy of the land or its people”.

Ms Cooke is planning on heading to a real Indian Reservation later in the year, once she’s saved up enough from selling genuine exotic handmade Balinese jewellery to guests at the Byron Markets.


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