It's been almost a week since Grand Theft Auto V was released to huge media interest, making an estimated $1 billion in just three days.

As a result, it's the fastest-selling entertainment product in history and marks a monumental milestone for the industry as a whole.

I'm sure most of you will have put dozens of hours into Rockstar's latest by this point, planning heists, getting tangled up on the wrong side of the law, running dodgy errands and causing general havoc. But there's far more to GTA V than the headline-grabbing stories of guns, violence and swearing.

I've played through a chunk of the main story, but that has only taken up a fraction of my play time during the 30 hours or so I've spent with the game. Now, I'm well aware that 30 hours is a mere drop in the ocean when it comes to GTA V but this fantastic game wasn't built to be rushed through at break-neck speed. Rockstar have finely crafted Los Santos and Blaine County, filling these massive playgrounds with a variety of interesting things to see and do, so it would be a shame just to gloss over some of the detail and barrel through to see the end credits.

So while I've completed dozens of missions and side missions - which I've thoroughly enjoyed - I've spent a huge chunk of time exploring this breathtaking game world. From the fresh air of the Chiliad Mountain State Wilderness and the tranquillity of Procopio Beach, to the dust bowl of the Grand Senora Desert and the seedy nocturnal streets of downtown Los Santos, I've clocked up miles and taken scores of pictures on my trusty iFruit phone.

So rather than give a straight up review of this sprawling game, I thought I would share some of my favourite moments so far instead to show there is much more to Grand Theft Auto V than some would have you believe.

The first thing I did was wander around Franklin's neighbourhood and take in the atmosphere. As I waited to cross at the lights - on my way to getting a new haircut - a sports car whizzed past me, hotly followed by a cop car. Meanwhile, a couple argued on the corner, a guy wandered passed speaking to his mother on the phone, and the sounds of the city played out in the background as the stars twinkled overhead. It made quite an impression and this was inside the first hour of playing.

After a few missions to help acclimatise to the control set-up, I took a stroll down to the nearest tennis court and played a set. While play isn't as smooth as a dedicated tennis game, such as Virtua Tennis 4, it was still enjoyable and, like the golf, was a nice little aside from the rest of the game. After the match, I wandered down to the harbour in the evening and took a small boat out on to the coastal waters of Los Santos. As I cruised along the shoreline, the city lights sparkled to life and Marlena Shaw's California Soul came on the radio, creating a truly chilled out atmosphere.

I took the boat round the whole island, exploring coves and looking for landmarks to explore later, before returning to the Del Perro Pier where I went on the Leviathan roller coaster and the huge Ferris Wheel.

The next day, I drove into town and saw a commotion outside a bar. Police were involved in a shootout and people were screaming and scrambling for cover. I watched from a safe distance and approached the scene when the situation had been resolved. To my delight, the pub was called The Dungeon Crawler - my favourite type of game, so I took a picture and continued on my way.

Radio stations have always been a key feature of the Grand Theft Auto games and GTA V boasts 16 of them - each with outrageous DJs, hilarious and inappropriate adverts and music which is sure to stir a few memories. However, a news report on Weazel News had a feature about a film playing in local cinemas. Without messing about, I made a beeline straight for one of the movie theatres and watched a couple of short films, including the magnificent animation, The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain. I won't spoil it for you in case you haven't seen it already but it left me speechless.

One of the great things about GTA V is the fact that the whole game world is open to explore right off the bat, rather than being fenced off as in previous versions. That means if you see something in the distance, you can get there. I spotted the Galileo Conservatory perched on hills above the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Santos and decided to take a closer look. I drove for a few miles just after midnight and beside the glowing white building of the observatory was a viewfinder which gave a magnificent panoramic view of the city below, complete with shimmering lights and traffic snaking through the streets.

I took a photograph and uploaded it to the Rockstar Social Club, something I've been doing a lot of, although I wish the images were hi-res. If a PC version ever comes out, I'll probably spend all my time taking snapshots.

I've found that even when I set down a GPS route with the aim of going somewhere specific, twinkling hillside lights and roadside landmarks keep pulling me away from what I set out to do - each occasion throwing up some new sight or event.

On one occasion, while travelling the coastal motorway through North Chumash, I spotted the Hookie's Seafood Diner - a place where groups of bikers like to frequent. I decided to stop and found myself watching bugs disappear in puffs of smoke as they flew into the electric bug zapper for a few minutes before I was unceremoniously chased out by a group of angry bikers, who, I can only assume had taken offence at my rather loud shirt. I managed to escape, pledging never to go back and continued on my way.

There are so many little moments like these which pepper the vast landscape and they make for interesting and unexpected diversions. I still have a lot more to see and do, but if you've been concentrating on the missions, why not take a break and head out and see the sights. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Get close to nature by taking a late morning hike through the nature trails at Vinewood Hills. Spectacular views are guaranteed - just watch out for the wildcats, who have a taste for unsuspecting ramblers.

Take a cable car trip up Mount Chiliad. Not only is the journey up spectacular, but the views from the top are breathtaking. Go up at dawn for the best experience and travel back down in full daylight for the best views. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you'll find dirt bikes and a parachute at the top - perfect for an epic and unforgettable BASE jump.

Take a speedboat and explore the inland Alamo Sea and visit the villages peppered around its coast. From there, take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the snaking Cassidy Canyon, complete with rapids, wild coyotes and fishermen hoping to catch a bite.

Explore the luxury villas in the Lake Vinewood Estates and take advantage of their hospitality by going for a dip in their huge pools and Jacuzzis. Look out for high diving boards attached to some of the buildings and perform a crowd pleasing splash into the pool below.

Off-road Moto ATV and bike races are a good way to make some fast cash. Scramble around dirt tracks and try not to run your opponents off the road.

Become a taxi driver around Los Santos. Grab a cab, press down on the left stick and you're in business. Jobs regularly come up and if you get passengers safely to their destination at a decent clip, you can even earn a tip.

At a certain point in the story, you'll need Cletus. He may be unhinged, but he'll be your guide on exciting wildlife hunts. However, my advice is to do it during the day, and not at night in the middle of a thunderstorm...

Head to an airstrip or helipad and take an aerial view of Los Santos and Blaine County. From high above you'll see some amazing things. There are also dozens of bridges to fly under and remember to pack a parachute just in case you fancy a skydive.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for collectables. There are loads to find and they are often squirreled away in unsuspecting places. They come in different shapes and sizes and collecting them all is definitely worth the effort.

Grand Theft Auto V is not suitable for those under 18 due to its violence, swearing and adult themes.