As the name of his forthcoming Cardiff show suggests, Rhys Darby is the adventurous type. Having recently performed around his New Zealand homeland, the Kiwi comic brings Mr Adventure to the UK, an action-packed rollercoaster ride of a show filled with all manner of close shaves, derring-do and the Loch Ness Monster.

“The last show [This Way To Spaceship] was me trying to leave the planet because it was falling apart. This is really the sequel: the planet isn’t falling apart and it’s always going to be here, so let’s explore it and find out some extra truths. And it’s celebrating the fact that we are alive on this planet and life is one hell of an adventure. So I talk about different kinds of adventures, including being married with two kids and what that means to me as I’m 40 this year. That’s been a bit of a wake-up. I look in the mirror and the hair is greying, but being young at heart is what it’s all about. When I’m not young at heart, that’s the time to call the rest home.”

Another kind of adventure in the show is hinted at on the tour poster, with Darby in a jungle setting, dressed in a bear outfit and with a massive snake possibly about to take a venomous leap at him. His set will recall the various bush treks, mountain climbs and wildlife antics he’s enjoyed, proving that both as a comedian and as a human, he is utterly fearless.

“I’ve never had any fear in terms of physical confidence from the early days of being in the cadets, the air training corps and the army. I’ve been in various wildlife situations and I have killed one snake in the wild.” Wow, that sounds scary. Did he wrestle it to the ground and snap its neck? “No, I rode over it on my scooter in Thailand by mistake. One time I actually was scared was going on the search for mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The first three hours was just walking like any bush trek, but when we finally came across them there was this sudden fear that there were no fences and these huge powerful gorillas were literally about five metres away. And we were in their world, but when you realise how gentle and how human they are, that fear just slipped away.”

While Darby is fascinated by the animal kingdom and the beasts that we are all very familiar with, his interest with creatures also lies further away from the mainstream and deep within the field of cryptozoology. You know, the likes of the Yeti, Bigfoot, Nessie, Chupacabra and all those mythical monsters that have been witnessed from afar and often on grainy film but whose legends refuse to disappear.

“I take each case as it comes, but in general terms I am a believer in these creatures. As a kid I was into mysteries and the paranormal and weird, I have a love affair with it all. And as I got older and did the research, I believe that there’s definitely something out there and the ultimate proof, the bodies, is still to come. Look at the mountain gorillas who were only discovered in 1902 after evading us for hundreds of years: who’s to say that this isn’t happening with the Sasquatches and Yetis, that they can smell us from a mile away and so can keep themselves to themselves?”

As for the Loch Ness Monster, though, that is one myth that stretches even Rhys Darby’s credulity. “Nessie is harder to believe, but you’ve got to look into multi-dimensions and that this Earth isn’t one physical body, there might be wormholes where things can slip in and slip out. So, this is what I’m tackling in the show, and people are laughing, but hey, at least I’m getting the information out there and raising awareness. I’m sure some people are walking away and thinking I’m on to something.”

For the young Rhys Darby, it was clear he was onto something when he could do some incredible sound effects to amuse and confuse his pals. While some ropey pistol-fire impersonations came out of his friends’ mouths during games of soldiers, Darby brought out the aural big guns with a full military onslaught of tank, bomb and rifle sounds.

“When I was a kid, we used to play a lot of war, which is a weird thing to say now; but it was a popular game around the houses where I grew up because as a boy you go through a phase of being very interested in World War 2 and all the armies and countries fighting each other. That was probably where I started to practice the sound effects so when I became a comedian later on, I already had those skills and I just brought them to the forefront in my stories. When I started and doing these noises of car doors opening and helicopters and sirens, it all seemed pretty natural to me, but audiences really went for them.”

More recently, Rhys Darby’s audiences have been going for his TV appearances. His work on the Flights Of The Conchords show as hapless music manager Murray Hewitt is the stuff of legend, but now Darby has managed to get his own baby up there on screens, in the shape of Short Poppies. Shot in good old mockumentary fashion, it follows the travails of a series of characters, all played by Darby himself, and can currently be found on Netflix.

“I’ve always felt there were a lot of characters inside me and this was a chance to get some of them out. These people often live in the back of my head and come out when I’m talking to my friends, so I put some costumes on them and brought them to life. Bill Napier, the park ranger character I’ve performed live, is a joy to do: in many ways, he’s the man I wish I was. I have a lot of fun with him even though he’s a bit dim. Then there’s the ufologist Steve Whittle who is a more meek character and very softly spoken and almost camp but he’s obsessed with the idea of aliens and being controlled by another world. And I played two females because I didn’t want all the characters being white men, but that was a real challenge. One of them was in her mid-60s and based on my mother and grandmother, but that seems to have resonated with some people.”

While Darby keeps his fingers crossed that the show might find its way onto network television, he is being kept fully occupied by Mr Adventure, but also on a mission which is looming in early October. Last year, he went up Mt Kilimanjaro for the World Vision charity and in the autumn, he’s taking part in a fundraising event for Save The Children which will see him trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal (over 5,000m above sea level), accompanied by fellow comics such as Simon Evans and Stewart Francis, as well as a ‘lucky’ set of stand-up fans. “We know what comedy audiences are like: they’re late night kind of people and like a laugh and a drink, so I do worry. We may have to stop halfway up and do the gig from there.”

And will Darby dig out his finest ‘Everest material’ for this special gig? “I’m working on some,” he laughs. “I’ll do my usual thing of spending the day there and getting the vibe of the place and do some stuff on how difficult it is to get to Base Camp. Once I get up there I’ll dash out some of my classics. I think everyone will be so exhausted that they’ll laugh at anything.”

Catch Rhys Darby at St David's hall, Cardiff on July 12. Call box office on 029 2087 8444 for details.