Discover William Pike’s story.

Meet William Pike

William Pike is the founder and director of the William Pike Challenge, an author, inspirational speaker and has always loved exploring New Zealand. 

How it all began

William Pike’s love of exploring the great outdoors began at a young age and was developed further at Westlake Boys’ High School where he was an avid sportsman – a three-time national water polo champion – and developed a zeal for outdoor pursuits. In 2006, William graduated with a Bachelor of Education with first-class honours, and began a fulfilling career as an Auckland primary school teacher.

A year later, on September 25, 2007, William climbed Mt Ruapehu with a friend, James Christie. On their way back down, in fading light they decided to stay the night in the Dome Shelter. That evening, Ruapehu erupted. It shot an epic amount of rocks, water and mud down its slopes and crashing violently onto their hut. Crushed and critically injured, William hung onto life while James ran down the mountain to get help.

Almost 24 hours later, William woke up in Waikato Hospital and although he survived, his right leg had to be amputated below the knee and he faced a long, gruelling rehabilitation.

William learned to walk again with a prosthetic limb, he returned to teaching, returned to Mt. Ruapehu and he now lives life full of adventure.

What William eventually learnt from his Mount Ruapehu experience was, when you’re faced with challenge and change, success or failure comes down to one thing – whether you are already prepared to step outside your comfort zone – or whether you’re not.

“People often say ‘you did so well’ to overcome the challenges you faced after Ruapehu accident. On the outside, it may have almost looked easy for me to get to where I am now. But I wasn’t born that way. The truth is, from a young age, I was doing stuff that would ultimately prepare me to deal with my biggest challenge to date – Ruapehu. I was prepared for life by my involvement in team sport, pushing my physical limits, finding great mates, being encouraged to achieve my personal best. In doing so, I was building a bank of resilience, confidence and life skills that were imperative to my survival.” 
– William Pike

Book William Pike as an inspirational speaker 

William Pike is an accomplished inspirational speaker for corporate and school audiences throughout New Zealand. He retells his story of surviving the freak Mount Ruapehu eruption and the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone to experience the extraordinary.

Inspire and motivate your team with William Pike.

 Learn more about the William Pike Challenge

Sign up below to explore our Programme Resources.