My happy place is the great outdoors. It makes me feel alive. I don't like spending too much time inside or watching TV or stuff like that. If I get any opportunity to get outdoors, I'll take it.

It goes back to really enjoying camping as a kid - going fishing and surfing and bushwalking. I grew up in Australia and we would go to the Blue Mountains or to places such as Coffs Harbour and the east coast beaches of Australia.

When I was studying acting in Australia, I was out in the Blue Mountains pretty much every weekend, walking or abseiling or climbing or canyoning. It was a pure rush.

I like to be tested, I like to be thrown a challenge and I couldn't imagine anything giving me more enjoyment than being surrounded by trees or the ocean. It feels like you give the batteries a solid charge. It can be challenging and tough when you're doing it but at the end you're invigorated.


These days one of my favourite things to do is to go hiking with my family. I have four children - two step-kids who are 16 and 11 and my kids who are 7, and 9 months. We live out in the Waitakere area, so we go walking through the ranges.

We've got two dogs - a massive rottweiler cross called Jack and a French bulldog-pug cross called Hank - and we'll take them along the West Coast beaches.

I also spend a lot of time on the water, paddleboarding and surfing. I paddleboard two mornings a week along Auckland Harbour and under the bridge with some friends, going out from Westhaven.

It's gorgeous. We start when it's still a little bit dark and, as we're heading out to the harbour, the sun starts to hit the water. It looks beautiful.

It's a little workout but also it's a chance to appreciate the new day.

And, when I can, I like to jump on my motorbike and go travelling somewhere for the day - that's a rare occurrence these days because you can't throw the kids on the back of the bike.

My happy place has always been outside. I get a feeling of renewal. We weren't put on this earth to sit around and play on Facebook all day or watch TV. We're here to enjoy life and enjoying life is about enjoying the earth and the ocean. I like to make the most of it.

- as told to Bronwyn Sell