The first of Clive Palmer’s gigantic dinosaurs, a T-Rex weighing 1.7 tonnes, has arrived at the Palmer Coolum Resort.
The head of the massive dinosaur, which was reported to have cost “tens of thousands of dollars”, was revealed at the resort on Friday after being shipped in from China.
General Manager Bill Schoch said it was the first of many he hopes to eventually inhabit the resort’s grounds in a bid to become the largest dinosaur park in the world.
“I can’t tell you how much we’ve anticipated this arrival here. This dinosaur is the king of the lizards, so we’re looking very much forward to this one perhaps being the first of many to come,” Mr Schoch said.
“There’s lots of stages we have to go through before that happens but if we look after this young fella, I’m sure his mother will let some others come along and maybe she’s even got some eggs on the way now.”
Around 160 other prehistoric beasts are tipped to join the impressive Jurassic giant and his final location within the resort’s grounds is still unknown, with Mr Schoch saying only that they “had a couple of options”.
“We have a dream that this will become the largest Dinosaur Park in the world. We know that there’s another park with 150; we’re targeting 160 (dinosaurs),” he said.
“Want it to happen yesterday, but we are constrained by usual red tape/green tape and those sorts of things. We have to go through those processes, so it will take time.”
At over 8.5 metres tall and 20 metres long, the huge dinosaur will cut an imposing figure among the resort’s foliage.
But Coolum’s T-Rex will be far from statuesque in his new home. Mechanical movements including a swaying tail, moving arms, claws and a breathing stomach will all bring the model of the world’s largest ever carnivore to life.
And the big lizard’s lifelike animations don’t end there. A hungry mouth that opens and closes, dark blinking eyes and full head movements, coupled with a guttural prehistoric roar, will all help Coolum’s newest resident mark his territory.
“Our structural engineers are lining the footings up, we hope to get all those footings in next week and the week after that, hopefully our engineering team will start the construction,” explained the resort’s Director of Engineering, David Craven.
“We certainly look forward to having him structured up, wired up and connected up to electricity and seeing all the reactions from the children and their parents.”
The Tyrannosaurus Rex’s movements will be timer-controlled and for anyone who has been around the Sunshine Coast for several decades, he is reminiscent of the much-loved T-Rex that used to inhabit a dinosaur-themed amusement park at Forest Glen; and who became famous for startling children with his intermittent ‘roar’.
“We’ve all got a little bit of Dinosaur fun in us and the Palmer Resort has always been a family friendly place, so we are targeting young families and people who are young at heart too,” GM Bill Schoch said.
“Our aim is to make the Sunshine Coast front of mind with a lot people who want to go to an enjoyable destination and enjoy the best experiences. We live in a part of the world fortunately that a lot of people, in Asia particularly, wish to come and visit.”