Bradley Miner is a student at the University of Pittsburgh and a TEAN Featured Blogger. Brad is currently studying abroad with TEAN in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Queenstown Lakefront

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! Breath…breath.” That was all I kept telling myself as our bus gradually crept closer and closer to the spectacular city of Queenstown – ‘The Adventure Capital of The World’! Ahh! In case you haven’t guessed it, I’m an adrenaline junky and was extremely excited to finally have the opportunity to visit Queenstown.  What equally crazed adrenaline-loving person wouldn’t have a minor heart attack like I did from over excitement about visiting this place?  There are so many activities just waiting to be conquered and a wide range to meet everyone’s desires, like skydiving,  canyon swinging, jet boating, canyoning, white water rafting, zip-lining (known in New Zealand as flying fox), paragliding, hang-gliding, and my personal favorite bungee jumping!

When my group arrived in Queenstown we took a trip to the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, the place where bungee jumping originated, to gain some general information on the history of bungee jumping and to watch a few people jump.  I couldn’t contain my excitement! I kept bouncing up and down and had the biggest smile on my face…. It was as if I were a five year old kid who had just been given a lollipop the size of my head.  I wanted to jump right then and there, but we had already had a pre-booked bungy for a few days later.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy

Later in the evening we made our way up to the Queenstown Skyline to get a bird’s-eye view of the city, Lake Wakatipu, and the stunning mountains.  It was on the mountain top where my mid-semester break and dreams of adventurous activities took a tragic turn as I ended up dislocating my left shoulder on the Queenstown Luge.  Now, for those of you who know what the Queenstown luge is, feel free to have yourself a little laugh at my expensive; and for those of you who don’t know what the luge is like, please feel free to also take a little laugh at my expense.  The luge is an 800 meter track of winding twists and turns down the side of the mountain on a luge cart (somewhat similar to a go-kart – see photo below); children complete the course without causing the destruction that I did.

Queenstown Luge

At first I didn’t realize the impact or severity of dislocating my shoulder.  I had always thought that you just simply pop it back into place and you’re good to go.  Not the case.  Gradually my arm began to sink lower and lower and I had to be taken to the hospital to get the necessary drugs and morphine in order for the shoulder to be popped back into place. The day after the incident I went back to the hospital to get some x-rays and to get a sling to support my arm.  Luckily the x-rays showed that the shoulder had popped back into place how it should. Now it would just be a long recovery period: 3 weeks in the sling, and then some physical therapy. I was devastated.  I was no longer able to participate in any of the adventure activities planned, which included my desired bungee jump.  However, staying positive and looking at the silver lining of it all, the doctors informed me that I would be able to continue my travels through the South Island, “just no crazy stuff”.

Although I wasn’t able to partake in the bungee jump activity, I still went with my friends to be there for moral support. I was even allowed to harness up and take the tram out to the platform!  I came so close to the jumping site… For the record I do not plan on leaving this amazing country until I do at least one bungee jump. Hoping for a speedy recovery; time goes by too fast here!

Brad and friends