Daniel Richardson joins tourists in Las Vegas probing a grisly murder.

Lead investigator, the one and only Gil Grissom, sets us on our way with his usual moving reminder: "Remember, the dead can't speak for themselves."

With my clipboard, pen and paper at the ready to note down clues, and my mind still chewing over the information from a video briefing, I set off to find out who has murdered an aspiring young actress.

It's just what you do at CSI: The Experience, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a family-friendly experience based on the hit television show.

It's a great chance for people of all ages to become crack investigators for an hour seeking to solve one of three crimes.


The experience is surprisingly realistic, with well-constructed sets featuring more than 2900 props that look like they've come straight off the set of the show.

You can make your way through the case at your own pace, and the instructions of what to do next are easy enough to follow, which is what makes the experience appealing to a range of people.

During your time in the exhibit you have the opportunity to test your evidence in interactive labs and draw your own conclusions on the crime you have been assigned to solve.

While I may never make it as a detective - and I can't release too many details until after the trial - I can safely report I did get to the bottom of who spiked the drugs of the unlucky young actress.

It could've been slightly more challenging but the experience is obviously pitched to be inclusive.

It also allowed me to return home and impress a few people with the crime-solving certificate I received for bringing the villain to justice.

Getting there: Air New Zealand has daily connections to Las Vegas. Fares start from $2166 return.

Where to stay: The MGM Grand is one of the well-known buildings on the Las Vegas strip and has recently been refurbished to make it an even more comfortable stay. Guests walk straight out of the door and on to the strip . . . or go crime solving.


What to do: Located within the MGM Grand hotel, CSI: The Experience offers a family- friendly way to spend time together in Las Vegas.

Further information: See visitlasvegas.co.nz.

Daniel Richardson travelled to Las Vegas courtesy of Air New Zealand and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.