Clarke Gayford's 'whoopsie' near-death experience in Niue

Clarke Gayford has revealed the dangers of pushing your limits, admitting he almost died while on a trip to Niue.

Known as a keen outdoorsman, Gayford was spearfishing off the island when he had his frightening wakeup call - or as he described it, a "whoopsie."

"I had a bit of a whoopsie in Niue free driving where I pushed myself too far," Gayford told NZME.

"I was spearfishing a large dogtooth tuna. I ended up too deep and the line dragged me down to about 30 metres. I didn't quite make it back to the surface,"

Luckily for Gayford, he had someone close by to save him.

"I had a guide who grabbed me as I blacked out - he brought me around."

He says the severity of his experience didn't hit him until much later.

"It didn't hit me straight away but it was several weeks later I realised how close I had been to not making it back. It made me take stock of where I was at and it helped me reinforce my desire to be doing something I wanted to do, which was making the fishing show happen."

Gayford told NZME the experience shook him.

"That was a big wakeup call on personal limits and working within them," he said.

Now a father to baby Neve, Gayford says he has reevaluated some of his riskier behaviours.

"You're now thinking of someone else, and it does play a part," he said.