Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

Hobart, Tasmania

MONA is Tasmania's newest attraction, it opened in January 2011. The museum is the largest privately funded institution in Australia and it houses the collection of its (very wealthy!) owner, David Walsh. Full disclosure here in that I'm not the biggest fan of modern art, so originally this museum wasn't on my list of places to see in Tasmania. But I had recently read a travel writer's report his visit and he had caught the ferry up the river from central Hobart. I loved the idea of a ferry ride on the river and then seeing some art. 

The ferry departs from the Brooke Street Pier which also houses a large tourist booking service so it's possible to buy a combined ticket for the ferry and entrance to the museum.

Once at MONA there are 99 steps up from the jetty to the main external area. There was some huffing and puffing from the ferry passengers going up the stairs!

Having successfully negotiated the stairs, you are then rewarded with some large art installations, my favourite was the ironwork trucks.

The intricacies of the metalwork was amazing.

Inside you have to descend into the museum, either by going down a spiral staircase or a circular elevator, which gives the impression of going down a tube. This going down into the museum is deliberate as the idea is to spiral up and out.

The elevator and spiral staircase which then takes you into a hallway of enormous sandstone.

None of the works in the museum are labelled and this is deliberate, but you are offered an audio guide which will explain what you're seeing. I was just happy to look so didn't get a guide, with large groups of people stopping to listen to explanations, it does get quite congested at times!

Until April, there is a touring exhibition called 'The Museum of Everything' which had some fun pieces in it. I loved this dinosaur made from old cassette tapes and cases.

Decorated instruments

A room of planes made from heavy paper, a child's delight!

After exiting this exhibition I stumbled across the restaurant part of the complex. It was a shock to come out of a totally dark world which you'd gone down a lift thinking the exhibition space was deep in the ground, to find yourself in daylight!

Back to the darkness and a tunnel to another exhibition area.

Kitten tea party, thought this was cute!

You start spiralling up, there are still works you can look down into.

And then you're outside and if you time it correctly, just in time to get the ferry back to central Hobart. (The 99 stairs are easier on the way down!)

Pulling away from the jetty, the museum buildings are well hidden in the cliff.

MONA doesn't seem to be for everyone, going by some of the reviews I've read! Some people loved it, some hated it! Taking the ferry there is the best way to go as the trip up the river is great. I'm sure everyone can find some piece of art that's a talking point, positive or negative, so it's an interactive experience for all!