Aside from beaches and sunshine, living on the Sunshine Coast also means being situated in the seat of Fairfax, represented by prominent mining magnate now politician Mr Palmer. This weekend, Mr Palmer opened up his fancy Palmer Coolum Resort to local residents for the Fairfax Festival. Whatever you might think of Mr Palmer, I couldn’t resist the temptation to visit the “Palmersaurus” for free! I am, after all, still a little kid at heart…
[UPDATE 2016: You can’t actually visit the Palmer Coolum Resort anymore, it’s been closed for some time now. We visited in June 2014.]
Needless to say, there were throngs of people all cramming into the resort to trample all over it, touch every possible surface that could be touched but shouldn’t be, be loud and occasionally whiny, squash you in as you’re trying to edge your way forward, and take about a million selfies. We parked what felt like two kilometres away and by the time we actually got to something to see, my feet were already hurting…
Admission prices to the Motorama, Mr Palmer’s classic cars collection, and the Palmersaurus are hefty and will set you back $37.50 each (or $60 if you visit both on the same day). So, I was pretty happy that we remembered to go along yesterday, I don’t think I’d want to pay $37.50 though the peace and quiet you’d get to enjoy along the ride might possible be worth it. Well. Hm. No. Actually, I don’t think so.
That said, he’s got some pretty cool cars there though I was missing my favourite ’80s cars, like the Ford Cobra. Don’t ask why I like them, I just do. 🙂 But they probably don’t hold much interest to Mr Palmer.
Mr Palmer’s got this massive (my gosh, did cars used to be BIG or what?!) 1928 Horch there, a forerunner to Audi. Apparently it was Hitler’s car but I had a quick look on Mr. Google and that’s total rubbish. I don’t know why the staff were telling people that… clearly, they’re a tad confused.
In fact, what I found online all seemed to point towards Hitler owning one (or more) Mercedes, not Horchs or Audis. But in any case, the car was massive and kinda cool.
Some of the cars are more than a hundred years old. Crazy when you think about it…
The car with a basket. It’s French so I figured it was a baguette holder. Or maybe it was for umbrellas. Or flowers picked along the way??
And to finish off… some gas lanterns on cars. Aw. How cool would it be to have a lantern on your car?!
An hour and a half later, we’d finally emerged from the Motorama and managed to make our way to the Palmersaurus. I had pretty low expectations, in fact, I didn’t expect much at all, especially when you think about what dinosaurs, golf and luxury accommodation have in common. Nothing?
However, the Palmersaurus is actually much better than what you might expect.
I’m not sure it’s world class or that the claim it’s the world’s largest dinosaur park is really true (seems pretty thin to me) but all the dinos are animated so you’re surrounded by grunting noises and moving heads and arms the whole time. Kinda funny and cool but I wouldn’t want to stay in the cottages right next to the park, grunting dinosaurs aren’t exactly that relaxing… though maybe you get a discount that makes up for that…
And a final goodbye to massive T-Rex Jeff on the front lawn… kinda cool but how many serious golfers want a dinosaur on the golf lawn?? It’s not miniature golf they play there, is it?!