Hidden gems of Australia: MONA
“In 2015 Lonely Planet’s List of 500 Best Places in the World, featured MONA as the world’s highest-ranking modern art gallery – beating New York’s MoMA and London’s Tate Modern.”
Tucked away within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale Peninsula in Hobart, Tasmania, sits the internationally acclaimed Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). As the largest privately funded museum in Australia, MONA presents a wide range of exhibitions both temporary and permanent including antiquities, modern and contemporary art from the David Walsh collection.
In January 2011 the gallery opened its doors to the public with the permanent collection, Monanism, curated by owner, David Walsh, Olivier Varenne, Nicole Durling and the MONA team. Not for the faint of heart and often at the centre of controversy, the bold installations and thought provoking exhibitions range from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. Walsh, himself, has described the museum as a ‘subversive adult Disneyland’.
In 2015 Lonely Planet’s List of 500 Best Places in the World, featured MONA as the world’s highest-ranking modern art gallery – beating New York’s MoMA and London’s Tate Modern. It is no wonder this controversial gallery has quickly become Hobart’s main tourist attraction and a national treasure. Along with its frequently updated indoor collection, MONA also hosts the annual MOFO and Dark Mofo festivals which showcase large-scale public art and live performances.
“Along with its frequently updated indoor collection, MONA also hosts the annual MOFO and Dark Mofo festivals which showcase large-scale public art and live performances.”
Hobart, itself, is a vibrant city, oozing with both modern and historic charm. Spend a couple of days wandering through colonial architecture and take in the vibrant energy of the creatives who choose to live there. Explore the pristine natural surrounds, sample local artisanal produce and dine at some of Hobart’s hip bars and restaurants. We recommend staying in one of MONA’s eight contemporary accommodation pavilions on the River Derwent. Each of the luxury units are named after an influential Australian artist or architect and feature artworks from the MONA collection. In addition to the gallery itself, the 3.5ha site is home to the Ether Building Function Centre, Moorilla winery and vineyard, Cellar Door, Wine Bar and Barrel Room, Void Bar, a 63-seat cinema, Cinemona as well as The Source Restaurant.
With Hobart a quick 1h15m flight away and with so much on offer, this is the perfect option for a short escape from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne life.