“Nothing great was ever achieved inside your comfort zone”

William Pike on the summit of Mount Scott in Antarctica

William Pike is a Kiwi explorer, sought-after inspirational speaker and a role model to youth. As the director of the popular nationwide youth development programme, the William Pike Challenge, William talks the talk and walks the walk.

William Pike’s tenacious passion for life has helped him to overcome serious challenges, tackle new opportunities and enrich his skills as a leader. Losing a leg after being trapped in a volcanic eruption on Mt Ruapehu has not changed William’s outlook on life, nor has it stopped him from doing the things that he loves. He climbs mountains, goes bushwalking, enjoys scuba diving, hunting, kayaking and more.

An impassioned teacher, he leads a nationwide youth development programme, teaching Kiwi kids that they too, can do anything they put their minds to. And he is a sought-after motivational speaker and a role model to people of all ages.

The Dome Shelter after the eruption


Growing up in Auckland, William acquired a love of New Zealand’s great outdoors. At Westlake Boys High School, he was an avid sportsman, (a three-time national water polo champion) and developed a zeal for outdoor pursuits. In 2006, he graduated with a Bachelor of Education with first-class honours, and became a teacher at Clevedon School in Auckland.

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 near the crater lake in the Dome Shelter. That evening, Ruapehu erupted, spilling a lahar of rocks, water and mud down its slopes and into their hut. Crushed and critically injured, William attempted to hang onto life.


Doctors called William’s survival a miracle. But his crushed right leg had to be amputated below the knee. After a long series of surgeries and a gruelling rehabilitation, William learned to walk again with a prosthetic limb. He returned to the classroom and eventually returned to the mountain.

Ten years after the accident, William Pike climbed Mt Scott in Antarctica, one of four young adventurers chosen for the Inspiring Explorers Expedition led by the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

William Pike in Antarctica

A crowd of 2,500 people hear William Pike’s story of inspiration


William is in demand as a motivational speaker, and a role model around the world, connecting with people of all ages through his positivity and passion for life. His determination to succeed without limits has also been recognised with several prestigious awards. ‘Every Day’s A Good Day’, William’s autobiography, tells his inspirational life story so far; the title reflecting his outlook on life before and after the accident.

A natural leader of young people, William is the director of a youth development programme, the William Pike Challenge. Since it’s inception in 2010 it’s grown to involve nearly 100 schools in 2019 from around NZ and continues grow. The programme encourages young people to develop 21st-century skills by stepping outside of their comfort zone to achieve and experience extraordinary things. In this fast-paced world driven by technology and change, William believes developing our future generations of New Zealanders is critical.

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change 5 young lives.

Everytime William is booked directly through this website, you'll pay 5 student's fees to participate in the William Pike Challenge!

The William Pike Challenge is a popular year long youth development programme that prepares our youth for tomorrow’s world. Through Outdoor Activities, Community Service and Passion Projects students develop their 21st-century skills like confidence, resilience, critical thinking and goal setting. Visit the website to learn more.

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William is also the director of the William Pike Challenge, an exciting youth development programme that prepares our youth for tomorrow’s world. Making a difference in over 100 schools around NZ, this rapidly growing programme is developing young people’s 21st-century skills.