It wasn’t a financially astute move but it led to my TV series and helped me discover the truly important things in life

  • Guardian writers and readers describe their favourite place in New Zealand’s wilderness and why it’s special to them

My entire experience of Auckland changed when I got a boat. It was the perfect antidote to a professional DJ lifestyle, where getting up at 5am to be on the water become immeasurably preferable to coming home at 5am from work. On trips out I began sticking my head underwater with such vigour that I somehow turned it into a whole new profession.

It didn’t happen straight away, of course. My 40-year-old, 14-foot beige fibreglass boat with a semi-reliable two-stroke engine, named Brown Thunder, only had so much range, and my real goal lay much farther offshore, tantalisingly out of reach. A place where tales of clear blue tropical water and huge fish swirled around a group of uninhabited islands, teasing me from the pages of marine magazines or the crusty lips of old salty sea-mates.

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