Display cars at the Palmer Coolum Resort

IMG_4224The Hyatt is known around the world as one of the premiere chains of high end luxury resorts and hotels, and their sprawling Hyatt Regency Resort at Coolum Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was no exception. Spread over 150 acres at the base of Mount Coolum, the lush resort was home to the rich and famous, and has hosted the internationally renowned PGA golf tournament since 2002.

However a few years ago the venue was purchased by mining magnate Clive Palmer, a man fortunate enough to posses the lucky combination of eccentricity and extreme wealth. As you would no doubt expect from the brain behind Titanic II, he has added his own special touches, the most obvious of which is his car collection.

IMG_4231Personally, I kind of respect Clive Palmer in a weird sort of way, and I like the way he just pursues his passions regardless of what anybody else thinks – the world would probably be a more interesting place if everyone acted like that. And really, you’ve gotta hand it to anyone crazy enough to buy the Hyatt and then make the guests shuffle around three pre-war Fiat’s before they can check in.

IMG_4241In January of this year Palmer converted one of the spare rec halls into a car museum, filling it with his 110 strong collection. Soon after, the decision was made to construct a dedicated building for the collection, and the collection was moved off the premises in readiness. However, when I visited in May construction of the new museum building had not yet started, so instead there were several cars dotted around the resort. As you do.

IMG_4247At least they put down a drip tray to stop the main entrance hall rug from being stained.

IMG_4235More influential people have probably walked this floor than anywhere else on the Sunshine Coast, which makes it a pretty special place to display a 1914 Fiat.

IMG_4230In this photo, I bet K-Rudd and his counterparts are simply standing back to admire the cars.

IMG_4225There are three more cars on display in the arrivals area, including this 1950 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. I tried to ask the concierge for more information about the cars without much luck. I get the impression that he was pretty tired of talking about them and explaining why exactly they were there.

IMG_4257This 1934 Humber Snipe 80 Saloon looked in pristine condition, however the dogeared and curled paper information sheet standing next to the car indicated that there’s plenty of moisture in the air.

IMG_4259The final car on display was this 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom 111 Limousine, powered by a 7.3 litre aluminum alloy V12 motor. I really felt sorry for these cars as they were exposed to driving rain from both sides and the salt air of the ocean less than a kilometre away. The cars looked in good condition, so here’s hoping that new museum building is completed before they deteriorate too much.

IMG_4262But hey, at least you could have your photo taken with both the Titanic and a Rolls Royce at the same time. How very British!

IMG_4269And if that didn’t excite you, you could simply venture out and play golf with a kangaroo under a giant plastic T-Rex. None of that would be possible if this were still a Hyatt, right?

IMG_4252IMG_4246 IMG_4234 IMG_4243 IMG_4223That’s a convincing argument for a restaurant if I ever saw one. Any anyway, whoever is responsible for that graphic design communication should have their sketching arm removed at the elbow – nice job turning the Hyatt into an outdoor JB-HiFi store.

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