• Weekend Getaway: MONA (Hobart)

How can one measure a successful life? Perhaps by luck, talent and skill? Being happy? Helping others? Becoming famous, or creating something new? David Walsh seems to be successful in every mark of the word. Beginning his career as a gambler, he won millions and set up MONA. The Museum of Old and New Art has put the city of Hobart on every traveller’s destination list.  This was my second time at the gallery, the first being in 2016, and I loved it even more this trip.

Unseen by James Turrell

Only a short flight from Melbourne, Hobart is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. And MONA is the main reason you will come here.

Looking over the Derwent, MONA is the perfect spot for a gallery. You can catch the ferry, bus or drive, either way you will see beautiful views on your journey. Arrive at the car park, and already you are engaging with the art work – glad that it was not your car that crashed between the converging concrete.

My first visit to this museum, I was struck by its diversity. This most recent visit, it was the interactivity that caught me. This museum will engage all your sensors.

Don’t bother looking at the map. It gives a basic floor plan, no details of where to find what. Instead, you are forced to discover, listen to hearsay and ask the friendly guides in every room. Don’t ignore a black curtain, behind it is a masterpiece. Don’t ignore a corridor either – yes, it might just lead to a toilet, or it may be the way to some mind-blowing experience.

You never know what you will find behind the curtains.

With such an exploratory design, it is easy to miss the best bits. One of my favourites was the horizon room, near the lowest floor’s café. I had walked straight past it several times, and only when asking others in my group for their highlights, did I find its existence.

Another favourite was a room on the top floor set up with rows of programmed screens like noisy and consuming 80s computer games. It was somehow relaxing and stimulating at the same time. This was my brother’s favourite too.

I will not give too much away. The purpose is to explore, after all. But prepared to be delighted, frightened, engaged, warmed and disturbed. This trip, I took my friends from New York. They loved it. It was one of the best museums they had ever seen.

655 Main Road
Berriedale Tasmania 7011

Want to know more about my recent Hobart trip? Stay tuned for my Hobart highlights.