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The incredible MONA in Hobart, Tasmania [The best museum In Autralia]
MONA is the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart Tasmania Australia. If you’re like me, you probably feel your eyelids becoming heavy and are mid-yawn – two common involuntary bodily reactions from reading the word museum. Or maybe you freaking love museums and nothing rocks your boat quite like them? Either way, Lonely Planet thought it was something special and listed.
While I was in Tasmania I had many people recommend the museum to me including my Airbnb hosts, fellow travelers, and even people on Twitter who saw that I was in Hobart. After seeing some pretty weird stuff a couple of months ago at some modern art museums in Vienna, I was in no big rush to see more modern art. But alas I found myself, one sunny Sunday afternoon, with no plans and so I decided to give MONA ago.
It’s one of Tasmania’s most famous attractions and one of the most visited in Hobart. It costs 20$ to enter and another 20$ to get to MONA by ferry, which is another reason I was not planning on going. I normally try to focus on finding free things to do in the cities I visit and, therefore, normally only go to museums when they are free.
How to Get There
Museum of Old and New Art – There are two ways to get to MONA, either by ferry or by bus. They cost about the same and I did both. I took the ferry round trip when I went there. On another day, when I was on a tour, one of the people on the tour decided to go to MONA, instead of the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, so we went there with her to drop her off by the bus.
I would definitely recommend taking the ferry. If you go by bus there’s really nothing special to see along the way whereas if you go by ferry you can enjoy a 30 minute trip on the water with some great views of Hobart’s waterfront, Hobart city, the Tasmania Bridge, and the scenic surrounding areas.
I actually ended up really enjoying the ferry ride and was in good spirits when arriving at MONA (despite having paid 40$ more than I had ever paid to visit a museum).
Before Going Into MONA
Museum of Old and New Art -MONA is located in a nice area, there are great views of the water and surrounding green hills as well as some art pieces outside on display. There is also a restaurant and bar where I tried a local cider. Take some time to walk around the property before or after visiting the museum.
Once you enter the building you will be given an iPhone which has information, to read and listen to, about the different art. When you are close to something you want to know more about you can simply refresh your screen and the device will find which art pieces you are close to.
In MONA Museum of Old and New Art
Museum of Old and New Art – When you go into MONA you have to either walk down a couple of flights of stairs or take an elevator. When you get to the bottom you feel like you’re in an underground cave.
The first thing I saw was this thing, below, which writes words in water. It was cool but I’ve seen something similar, just on a smaller scale, in Vienna so it wasn’t something I was seeing for the first time. I tried my best to catch a picture of one of the words but wasn’t fast enough to catch the whole thing!
Water shoots out from the top to form words
The museum has a large variety of art displayed. There were mummies, I don’t remember how many vagina sculptures lined up along one wall, a fat Ferrari (my first thought was that someone has too much money if they can afford to buy a Ferrari, and then spend a bunch of money to make it undrivable). Videos (weird stuff of course), a sculpture of a dead suicide bomber (made out of chocolate because what else would you make a suicide bomber sculpture of?), paintings, and pictures of poor people and rich peoples backs (which I gave up trying to understand after 20 min).
And of course, there was also modern art, which I just don’t get. I always feel like I’m being punked when I look at modern art. I expect at any moment that someone will jump out behind a corner and say this random shoe on the pedestal was left here by mistake by some drunk lady last night and is not actually art). But that never happens. For example, the pieces below.
MONA Hobart Museum of Old and New Art
Museum of Old and New Art – I found this at the gift shop, it’s soap. I guess if you are still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone then looks no further…?
MONA Final Verdict
Museum of Old and New Art – I might have been a little biased, based on my past experiences with modern art and museums, but I tried to keep an open mind going into it. In the end, yes there was weird stuff, but there is in every modem art museum. I don’t really think that it is so much greater than other museums but that’s just my opinion and there seems to be a lot of people that would disagree with me.
It’s normal when you visit an art museum, especially one as diverse as MONA, that some stuff you’ll like and some you won’t. If you’re in Hobart then I think it’s worth the trip to go. But should you go to Hobart or Tasmania just to see MONA? That’s up to you to decide!