5 minutes with an #iDiscovered winner

Wednesday, 21st June 2017

Destination Specialist

whale tail New zealand donna

Our on-going client #iDiscovered competition has received hundreds of wonderful entries since it began in November 2015. We’ve had #iDiscovered moments ranging from husky sledging at the Icehotel to bear spotting in Canada to incredible Icelandic landscapes.

In June 2017 our winner was budding photographer Donna, (@belladonnaphotography on Instagram) who won with this brilliant photo of a whale tail in New Zealand. Here we spend five minutes with her to hear about her great holiday, what inspires her photography and where she wants to visit next…

1. What Discover the World trip were you on when you took your winning #iDiscovered photo?

My husband Stephen and I were on our honeymoon earlier this year. We had booked our tailor-made around the world trip with Discover the World, which included visits to Los Angeles, Singapore and New Zealand – which was our main destination. In New Zealand, we travelled around both the North and the South Island for a whole month.

donna winner competition

2. What were the highlights of your holiday?

New Zealand is such a beautiful place, there are so many highlights to choose from! However, one of the main reasons we went there as a destination is that ever since I was a young girl and watched the Lord of the Rings films, it’s been my dream to visit New Zealand where it was filmed. I was determined that my dream would become a reality and after many years of saving we were so lucky to have the opportunity on our honeymoon.

On this basis, my highlight has to be the visit to Hobbiton in Matamata, it was truly stunning and provided so many photo opportunities. In the South Island, another highlight I would have to say is the wildlife and scenery, which is breath-taking. We were fortunate enough to see so many different types of wildlife including dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, penguins and a variety of birds.

donna hobbiton competion winner

3. Where was the winning photo taken?

The winning photo was snapped on a whale watching trip off of the coast of Kaikoura in the South Island. There are many species of wildlife to see here, but it is home to pods of sperm whales who visit yearly so it provided a great opportunity to take some fantastic shots.

4. What inspires your photography and what are your favourite things to photograph?

For me it would have to be nature, whether this is a landscape, a mountain view, a lake or wildlife (both plant and animal). I think it is natural beauty which inspires me to take photographs, as well as capturing memories of the destinations I have visited so I am able to look back at some of the great places I have been. I love nothing more than to share what I capture with others.

donna landscape competion winner

5. How do you plan to use your GoPro prize?

I hope to be able to use the GoPro to capture those special moments and scenic views in real time. I have already gained access to some video editing software in preparation for making personal and home movies. One of the memories I have of New Zealand is seeing pods of bottlenose dolphins swimming and dancing through Doubtful Sound – a GoPro would have been ideal to capture this moment. Plus my husband loves to ski, so I am sure he will be requesting loan of the GoPro to record a ski run or two!

donna dolphins competion winner

6. What Discover the World destination would you love to travel to next?

Our next destination would have to be somewhere like Iceland. Again, it’s a great place to photograph wildlife and nature and I would love to see the northern lights. My husband and I have already started to eye up some trips – but with a little one on the way in the new year, we may have to put our plans on hold temporarily!

All images © Donna Bridewell


Would you like to be an #iDiscovered winner like Donna?

Browse all our New Zealand holidays

Popular blog posts

Your Guide to World Heritage Sites in the Nordics

Unearth a natural wonder or cultural gem on your next trip with our pick of World Heritage Sites in the Nordics including geological marvels and bronze age petroglyphs.
  • Inspire Me

Thursday, 15th April 2021

Pam Forrest

Top 9 Volcanic Experiences in Iceland

After weeks of tremors and thousands of earthquakes, a volcano finally erupted on the Reykjanes Peninsula on Friday 19 March 2021, reminding the world that this North Atlantic island is a geological hot spot. Read on to take a look at some of the country's impressive geological and volcanic experiences.
  • Adventure
  • Destination Insiders

Saturday, 20th March 2021

Eric Shadbolt

Where will you spend Easter 2022?

In 2022 the Easter weekend is 15-18 April making it not only a great time to experience the transition from season to season, but its close proximity to the May Day bank holiday means you can effectively double your time off.
  • Inspire Me

Thursday, 1st April 2021

Pam Forrest