MONA, the greatest art gallery in the world

Hobart Hit List

I had long imagined Hobart to be some wild outpost starring the cast of The Piano interspersed with gumboot-clad cheese makers, feral hippies and rosy-cheeked moonshiners. In my mind, everyone was always singing sea shanties, eating apples and having soulful conversations with their pet ducks.

MONA, the greatest art gallery in the world
MONA, the coolest art gallery in the world

Turns out I was half right. They do eat a lot of apples. For everything else, here’s my list of awesome things to do in Hobart:

1. Museum of Old and New Art (MONA): MONA is my favourite place on earth. I recommend it with alarming vehemence (and spittle and exclamation marks!).  The building is a strangely erotic collision of sandstone, metal and red velvet curtains that gives the whole place a slightly ‘dungeon’ vibe.  The art ranges from grotesque, crude and confusing to technically exquisite and sublime. It has a bar called The Void that serves fiendishly good espresso martinis, a cafe with a view overlooking the Derwent River and a bar that serves Praxis and Muse wines that are made on the property. Maybe I was drunk the whole time or maybe it was true love? All I know is that it rocked my world.

2. Mount Wellington: If you like being really cold, a trip to the top of Mount Wellington is a must. Natureboy and I drove up there and it was 1 degree Celcius with a wind chill factor of about a gazillion on the first day of autumn. We ran to the viewing shelter, buffetted by strong winds, and looked out into … a cloud. We couldn’t see anything except for the jagged rocks and windswept heather in the near distance. For one glorious moment, the clouds parted and Hobart sparkled like a faraway fairy land.

3. Salamanca Foreshore: If you are cool (and I suspect you are), Salamanca is the place to go and eat in the company of your feathered friends. Natureboy and I tried Grape Winebar (small plate menu), Cargo (famous hoisin duck pizza) and Tricycle (order the scrambled eggs).  If you fancy a picnic, head to the Saturday morning markets to buy fresh produce such as blueberries, chilli ginger beer and fennel, cinnamon and fig bread and then pop into A Common Ground and Wursthaus Kitchen to pick up schmancy deli-style food; Bruny Island Cheese, pinot noir spiced cherries and ready made quiche and cake slices.

Giant beetroot
Giant beetroot at Salamanca Markets

4.  Hobart Royal Botanic Gardens: I confess – I am a plant nerd. I used to willingly watch Gardening Australia before it got axed. It was very exciting, then, to come face-to-face with the veggie patch made famous by the show’s former host, Peter Cundall. In said garden there was a bunny rabbit stealing lettuce which delighted me in a very Enid Blyton way. The gardens are in great nick and there is an enviable range of species on display, from the Japanese Garden to the hot house with monster begonias hanging overhead. Even if you’re not into plants, it’s a very pretty spot to soak up some of Hobart’s intermittent sunlight.


Have you been to Hobart? What did you think? What did we miss?


3 comments on “Hobart Hit List

  1. It sounds absolutely scrumptious, and chilly, like a glass of bubbly, You make it sound even more attractive and I simply find it hard to resist the wait in getting there, have a trip planned with the family this year.

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