A Culture Trip to MONA
Julie gets a taste of romance, culture and wine in Tassie’s MONA.
“Do you think MONA will live up to all the hype? Are my expectations a tad high?” These were just a few of the questions I thought out loud to my husband as we drove the three hour journey from our farm to Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA). The answer… Yes, It most certainly does live up to the hype and expectations… well, best not to bring any!
As soon we arrived at MONA Pavilions in Hobart I could tell we were in for something special. Set on the banks of the Derwent River, you can’t help but be struck by how beautiful and unique the architecture is. The grounds are immaculate and the views stunning.
Home For The Weekend
MONA Pavilions offer their guests the choice of eight individual pavilions. Each named after famous Australian architects and artists. Whilst waiting to hear which of the luxury apartments would be home for the night, I spy owner David Welsh himself. I had enough time to snap a picture with him before my husband and I headed to our love nest (when you’re married for as long as we have been, you take romance where you can get it).
The apartment was beautiful. Spacious and very open with all the savvy mod-cons and none of the silly frillies. The added feature of an enormous book collection and some of Walsh’s own prized art pieces on display make the place even more special.
I particularly loved the gorgeous spa bath overlooking the water. The perfect place to savor a Moorilla Sparkling Brut at the end of the day. The minimalist yet functional kitchen is well equipped if you feel like dining in, however I would highly recommend spoiling yourself with dinner at The Source Restaurant, where you can sample the very best of Tassie’s local produce.
After a quick swim in the infinity pool, we were ready to do some exploring.
A Bit of Culture MONA Style
Well what can I say! I found the whole building amazing. This is not your ordinary run of the mill museum. The structure has been cut into a cliff alongside the Derwent River and a tomb like lift takes you down two levels to the start of the exhibition.
On entry you are given an iPod with inbuilt G.P.S nicknamed The O. None of the exhibits are labeled which means ’The O‘ is your only chance at trying to understand what you are looking at. I found this a little confusing at first but soon got the hang of it. I noticed the younger people weren’t having any trouble at all! The O does have the added advantage of its user being able to read as much or as little about each art work as they wish.
The gallery is expansive and takes a couple of hours to get around. I’m not sure if Walsh’s 100 million dollar collection is everyone’s cup of tea but he has definitely achieved his aim, it will indeed entertain, shock, inform, offend and challenge most if not all of his visitors.
Wine Tasting and Brewery Tour
We were booked into the Moorilla Wine Tasting at 3pm, and after viewing some of the more ‘provocative’ exhibits I was certainly ready for a glass of wine!
The wines we tasted were from the Muse series and Praxis series. Lovely Bridget certainly knew all there was to know about the wines and really made the tasting an enjoyable experience. This is well worth doing.
We then went onto the Brewery Tour. Yes, not only does Moorilla Estate have their own wines but also have their own Micro Brewery, Moo Brew. Although the tour was certainly informative, I would recommend doing only ONE of the tours as neither tour offers nibbles and it can become a little beverage heavy!
We woke to a crisp Tassie morning and indulged in a long, relaxed Sunday breaky at the The Source Restaurant before it was time to leave. What a weekend! The staff at MONA are absolutely delightful and made our weekend break truly something special. MONA Pavilions should be on everyone’s Tasmanian to do list. I can guarantee you will still be talking about your visit months after you leave!
Keen to experience your own Winery or Brewery tour?