MOTEL MASCOT: Karen, Jasen and Charlie Rout and Trish, Shane and Jasmine Grigg at the Coral Villa Motel.
MOTEL MASCOT: Karen, Jasen and Charlie Rout and Trish, Shane and Jasmine Grigg at the Coral Villa Motel. Mike Knott BUN050619DIN5

Dinosaur fights bikies, survives arson, moves to Bundy

SHE'S stopped bikies fireboming a home, starred on Sunrise and A Current Affair and survived two arson attacks.

Now, Sydney's famous pet velociraptor Roxy can add travelling in a trailer from Sydney to Bundaberg to her list of achievements.

If you've passed by Takalvan St in the last few weeks you may have even noticed her in her new home at the Coral Villa Motel, but Roxy is no ordinary raptor.

Karen Rout hugs Roxy the dinosaur outside the Coral Villa Motel.
Karen Rout hugs Roxy the dinosaur outside the Coral Villa Motel. Mike Knott BUN050619DIN2

Owners Jasen and Karen Rout, who took over the Bundaberg motel in April, revealed the 300kg dinosaur's colourful past from her humble fibreglass beginnings through to the reason she now calls the Rum City home.

It was a casual drive past the Wentworth Falls Pots business where Roxy first caught their eye and they knew they just had to take her home.

"We bought her, and for years she'd been unloved and when we bought her we went back a week or two weeks later to pay and he was telling us some locals had organised a search party and by courtesy they were dropping in to say 'hey, look, we're going to find her', they were organising it and he was like 'no, no, she's sold' - so they had to get another one,” Mrs Rout said.

Charlie Rout and Jasmine Grigg in the fairy garden at Coral Villa Motel.
Charlie Rout and Jasmine Grigg in the fairy garden at Coral Villa Motel. Mike Knott BUN050619DIN3

"When we bought her we honestly thought people would just go 'oh my God, you're so embarrassing', but within two days we had Sunrise there, we had the local paper.”

It had been a tough time for the family in Western Sydney, with bikies fire-bombing their home multiple times.

Their garage had even been burnt down, but when Roxy started living on their front lawn, the attacks stopped.

Jasen Rout and Shane Grigg at Coral Villa Motel.
Jasen Rout and Shane Grigg at Coral Villa Motel. Mike Knott BUN050619DIN4

It wasn't without trouble though, there were two attempts on Roxy's life where she was covered in fuel and set alight.

Roxy was restored each time and after several years of guarding the Routs' home, the family decided it was time to change things up.

Mrs Rout said it was purely chance that led them to the Bundaberg region.

Charlie Rout and Jasmine Grigg outside the Coral Villa Motel.
Charlie Rout and Jasmine Grigg outside the Coral Villa Motel. Mike Knott BUN050619DIN6

"I worked for the government in housing in Mount Druitt, where Struggle Street was set, that's where I was - I did that for 21 years... so we decided that we wanted to do a business and we'd always wanted to run a motel and we said 'OK, what properties are there?' and they said 'Bundaberg' so we said 'yep, OK, let's go',” she said.

They packed up their belongings, loaded Roxy onto a trailer and headed north. By the time they made it to Ballina, Roxy had popped her head out of the tarp on the trailer, amusing drivers all along the highway.

The Routs were joined on their endeavour by the Grigg family, who initially came to help them set up the motel but fell in love with Bundaberg and decided to stay and became partners in the business.

Roxy celebrates Halloween with the family.
Roxy celebrates Halloween with the family. File

In a twist of Jurassic fate, it was Roxy who bought the Rout and Grigg family together - Roxy had become so well-known in Sydney that fundraising events for the Luke Priddis Foundation followed, uniting the two families through community involvement.

Of course, their move to Bundaberg wouldn't be complete without another quirky keepsake from their former Sydney home - a genuine 1950s cast iron English phone box pre-dating the timber booths that followed.

"There weren't many made,” Mr Rout said, describing the phone box as looking like the Titanic before he bought it, sanded it back and restored it to its former glory.

They've worked hard on revitalising the Takalvan St motel business, even redecorating it with locally made homewares and furniture to support Bundy's economy.

There's even a new fairy garden and M&M statue for those wanting a selfie with a difference.

Charlie Rout with Roxy the dinosaur outside the Coral Villa Motel.
Charlie Rout with Roxy the dinosaur outside the Coral Villa Motel. Mike Knott BUN050619DIN1

Visitors might also catch a glimpse of Nightmare on Elm Street villain Freddy Krueger around the place and yes, Roxy does dress up for Christmas and Halloween.

She's good for hugs and pats as long as no one climbs on her (a problem the families so far haven't had in sunny Queensland) and Trish Grigg revealed that Roxy's where the ladies go for a cuddle if their partners aren't around for a snuggle.

"She gives the best hugs... it feels like she's actually hugging you,” Mrs Rout said.

The family is still getting used to many shops being closed on Sundays as well as adjusting to the slowed down Queensland pace of life, but they wouldn't swap it for anything.

They're so keen on being Queenslanders, they even cheer for the Maroons.



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