Ahh Tasmania. Where was I? The winner of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race had come in, and second and third were in a tight race for the finish line. The wind was being cruel still and they were barely sailing… but they got there, just as we boarded out boat to Mona. You can’t go to Hobart without going to the Museum of New and Old Art- (Mona). It’s an institution in itself.
Mona is Australia’s largest private owned art gallery and museum. It is owned by the eccentric (would you expect anything else) David Walsh, who made his fortune gambling. Before you sigh and lose interest like I did, realise that a large proportion of that money was reinvested into the Tasmanian economy through the establishment of MONA. If you’re interested in his life, you can buy his memoir on site- you can’t miss it. MONA won the 2012 Australian Tourism Award for best new development and is a major Tasmanian tourist attraction.
I heard about MONA a couple of years ago from my friend Jane, whilst talking about death, as you do. (I love the friends that indulge me in my passions). Jane showed me the book she bought from MONA and told me about the exhibitions on death. I was excited to go for the component alone (a fact that I did not reveal to my travel companion).
When travelling by Mona Roma to Mona, you can travel cattle class or in the “posh pit” which gives you canapés, and champagne on the way over and back. If FOMO is an issue for you then don’t worry, there is an equally stunning cafe for the plebs, and you can order your own champagne, or pot of tea if that’s more your style. We were on the 9am ferry and had only just eaten brekkie, so opted out, instead hoping to indulge when we got there. The ferry ride is a pleasant 30 minute trip.
The middle pillar of the Tasman Bridge is wider than the rest due to a shipping accident in 1975. Twelve people died in the accident as the middle section of the bridge plunged into the Derwent River.
If arriving by water, you are greeted by the red cliffs and walk up a steep staircase to the top where there is a tennis court, trampoline and rusted steel art.
The most intriguing displays for me was the death chamber, and the Gilbert and George Art Exhibition.
I can honestly say that I have never spent so much time in a museum or art gallery, and by the end of it I just wanted to get out and see daylight and get some fresh air. I was over stimulated and my senses had been challenged to their limits. Mind you, I did enjoy every minute of it, until point of overwhelm!
After I finally emerged we decided that we DEFINITELY needed a drink. Luckily for us, there was an onsite winery 🙂 We enjoyed an amazing pulled pork bun and a glass of wine and then decided it was time for a lie in the grass on gigantic pillows. We were then entertained by a small child walking a peacock, and some gorgeous music, before it was time to head back down to the ferry to go back to Hobart.
All in all a MUST DO! So much to see, so much to think about and a great place to spend the day irrespective of the weather.