MONA – Museum of Old and New Art – How to do a day trip

Aaron/ September 4, 2019/ Oceania/ 0 comments

One of the highlights of Hobart, and an art museum unlike any other. Some love it. Others hate it. Provocative, dizzying at times, but mostly in your face. Only one way to find out if MONA’s your thing.

A visit to Hobart isn’t quite complete without a trip to MONA. Beyond an art gallery it was a multi-sensory experience that’ll likely leave you either thinking, cursing, or just really confused. Here’s how to plan a trip to MONA and some ideas on what to expect there. The exhibits might differ but the concept is there.

Getting to MONA

If you don’t have your own transport, you can get to MONA by ferry or bus. Both depart from Brooke Street Pier, and for buses there’s possibility of boarding at the airport. Any of these methods will cost AUD 22 for a return trip. For departures from Brooke Street Pier it’s possible to purchase transport and admission tickets in the pier, or you can get them online too. Here’s the ferry timetable, MONA express timetable and the airport express timetable.

Leaving Brooke Street Pier. There's the Aurora Australis, an icebreaker used to support Antarctica research missions, anchored at port.
Leaving Brooke Street Pier. There’s the Aurora Australis, an icebreaker used to support Antarctica research missions, anchored at port.

Apparently MONA was designed to be approached by water, so ferries are the recommended mode of approach and the fastest way to get there, in about half an hour. On board decor is funky, which I guess is part of the experience. In my opinion it was kinda fun but nothing amazing, but since the alternatives cost the same why not. There’s a long flight of stairs from the pier to the museum though, so if movement is inconvenient the bus may be a better option.

Approaching MONA.
Approaching MONA.
The ridiculous experience starts from the ferry.
The ridiculous experience starts from the ferry.

How much does it cost

Other than transport costs of AUD 22, the only other thing you’d need to pay for is the admission of AUD 30, also either at Brooke St Pier or online. Some exhibits require additional tickets, but for most AUD 52 is what you’ll need to fork out. All about visiting MONA here.

How long will I need

2 hours should be enough to explore the many floors and rooms in the museum, though some people spend half or even a full day here and never get bored. Taking into account

Snippets of the MONA experience

At the risk of spoiling the surprise here are some snippets from MONA in May 2019. Just a sample of those that can be captured in a shot. Some involved strobe lights, movement or other senses and can’t quite be captured. Definitely something to experience yourself.

Outside MONA, still looking pretty normal.
Outside the museum, still looking pretty normal.
The museum restaurant hanging over the water. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
The museum restaurant hanging over the water.
Drawing faces. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Drawing faces.
Drawing you in. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Drawing you in.
To be continued. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
To be continued.
Starting to get psychedelic. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Starting to get psychedelic.
The audio guide (included in admission) is a large part of the experience. Though sometimes it makes confusing things more confusing .
The audio guide (included in admission) is a large part of the experience. Though sometimes it makes confusing things more confusing .
Room for squares. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Room for squares.
Lights, lines and liquids. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Lights, lines and liquids.
Nightmare inducing machine with lots of spinning things and squeaky noises. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Nightmare inducing machine with lots of spinning things and squeaky noises.
Into the underground. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Into the underground.
How trippy is that. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
How trippy is that.
The hanging restaurant. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
The hanging restaurant.
When you ask people to draw a bicycle off the top of their mind. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
When you ask people to draw a bicycle off the top of their mind.
A stack of burnt things. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
A stack of burnt things.
Wind drawings. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Wind drawings.
Translating wind into pen movements. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Translating wind into pen movements.
The result of hours of blowing. Little twiggly.
The result of hours of blowing. Little twiggly.
A bigger, seemingly more expressive piece.
A bigger, seemingly more expressive piece.
Writing's on the water. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Writing’s on the water.
The gallery cut straight through the rock. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
The gallery cut straight through the rock.
Too cool for a staircase. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Too cool for a staircase.
Starring up in one of the exhibits, after making lots of turns through a dark place. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Starring up in one of the exhibits, after making lots of turns through a dark place
And a piece for Scientology. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
And a piece for Scientology.
Not sure if the wall was made to curve like the piano. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Not sure if the wall was made to curve like the piano.
Was the scene of something more graphic, but now that's just a story. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Was the scene of something more graphic, but now that’s just a story.
Replicating the digestive system. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Replicating the digestive system.
The 'poop' at the end. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
The ‘poop’ at the end.
View from the top of the bar at one end of the entrance gallery. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
View from the top of the bar at one end of the entrance gallery
Can you tell what's real and what's a reflection? MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Can you tell what’s real and what’s a reflection?
Reminds me of something ...  MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Reminds me of something …

Outside MONA

The fun continues outside! There’s an inviting lawn as well as restaurants on top of the museum (mostly underground).

The lawn. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
The lawn.
And for good measure, a tennis court too. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
And for good measure, a tennis court too.
One of the interactive exhibits, where people outside the museum can speak to people deep inside.
One of the interactive exhibits, where people outside the museum can speak to people deep inside.
Keep out! MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
Keep out!
At some almost hidden corner, one more artwork. MONA, Hobart, Tasmania.
At some almost hidden corner, one more artwork.
Lit at the right places.
Lit at the right places.
Queue for the last ferry back to Hobart city center (Brooke Street Pier).
Queue for the last ferry back to Hobart city center (Brooke Street Pier).

And that’s it from MONA!

Don’t forget to check out the gift shop for some outrageous souvenirs. And that wraps up my last day trip from Hobart, after Bruny and Bonorong. 2 more posts to round up Hobart, coming up!

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