Blue Mountains: Hydro revs up for majestic car rally
By Ellen Hill for Escarpment Group Modern car photos: David Hill
The original Blue Mountains party palace will rev up when the Hydro Majestic Hotel hosts a vintage and modern super car show on the November 28 and 29 weekend.
Escarpment Group general manager Ralf Bruegger said: “Original owner of the hotel, retailer Mark Foy was a huge car enthusiast and actually owned a number of the first cars brought into Australia and inspired the first car rally from Melbourne to Sydney and subsequently, Sydney to the Blue Mountains’’
Opened originally as The Hydropathic Establishment on July 4, 1904, during a snowstorm, a group of special guests arrived by train at Penrith where Mr Foy had a fleet of motor cars waiting to drive them to the clifftop hotel in the upper mountains.
Totally enamoured with the motor car, Foy then began Australia’s first motoring touring business, travelling from Blackheath to Jenolan Caves. With the exception of a line of steam omnibuses in Western Australia, it was the first public service motoring venture in Australia.
An arduous journey even today, the trip was taken in two 9-h.p De Dion cars, propelled by petrol and each seating six people.
The Sydney Daily Telegraph of September 29, 1903, reads: “…and so far they have given every satisfaction, doing the journey in about three hours and a half.
“The visitors were entertained by Mr. Mark Foy, who is an enthusiastic patron of the sport of motoring, at his residence at Medlow, and great interest was taken by them in the preparations being made there for the erection of an elaborate hotel and hydropathic establishment.’’
Since relaunching last October after a sumptuous refurbishment, the Hydro Majestic is once again a luxurious pit stop.
“The Hydro Majestic is right on the Great Western Highway, enroute to the Eastern Creek and Bathurst race tracks and the highway is a well-travelled scenic drive route for tourists, so seeing Lamborghinis and Ferraris in our carpark is not unusual for us,’’ Mr Bruegger said.
“The Hydro Majestic has a reputation for being a little racy, a bit naughty and outrageous so we didn’t want to settle for one or two – we will have dozens of the fastest, meanest and sexiest cars that have ever been on the road.’’
The Hydro Majestic car show will feature modern super cars and veteran cars on display and offering joy rides for visiting guests.
Car enthusiasts are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the motoring experience and stay at least one night at an Escarpment Group property, each with private parking.