Sunday, January 08, 2012

MONA, Hobart

If you only do one thing in Hobart I highly suggest a visit to the beyond fabulous MONA museum and one of its delicious eating establishments (that's after you visit Salamanca Markets, North Hobart and Cascade Brewery for Stout Ice-cream that is).

When I say MONA is fabulous I mean that it is like no other museum I've ever visited. It's vast, it's eclectic, it's confronting, it's joyful, it's humourous, it's awe-inspiring and just simply AMAZING!

The museum is buried in a huge underground cavern that has been dug out from sandstone and is located on (or in) a vast plot of land that houses a brewery, vineyard, accommodation, a winebar and very fancy restaurant called The Source.

The entire place is a magical labyrinth and believe it or not privately owned by Tasmanian, David Walsh.  A very very very rich Tasmanian I'm guessing. From reading his bio on the MONA website he seems quirky, irreverent and doesn't take himself to seriously.  His fellow Taswegians are granted free entry to the gallery, and they don't even need to show the scar where their second head used to be (or so the brochure tells us).  Love it.

It's this humourous and not-to-serious approach to art and the museum that really appeals to me.  This is a place for everyone to come, enjoy, wonder and wander (and take photos...of the art! Virtually unheard of these days). And that we do...building up quite the appetite as we wander around.

After a few hours of discovering not even half of what MONA has to offer we decide to go and seek some lunch. As we're on a time crunch (our last day in Hobart and we have a plane to catch back to "the mainland") we decide to grab a quick bite at the cafe. We start with two glasses of tap water...cos we cheap, and broke after living the high life in Tassie for nearly a week.

We take a seat inside, though the bean bags on the lawn overlooking the Derwent River do look enticing. I'd probably end up with my lunch all over me if I took the beanbag option though.

The boy ordered a Beef Pie, the pastry looks so buttery and flaky that I briefly have lunch envy. The homemade tomato sauce that accompanies the pie is deliciously tart and he seems pretty satisfied with his lunch.  My Salmon and Potato Pattie is ENORMOUS and filled with chunks of fresh salmon. The patty is topped with a fat dollop of homemade tartare sauce that is bursting with zesty flavour and tart capers. I might even attempt to replicate this dish at home...maybe!

Because we polished off every morsel on our plates we get to have dessert. Two little macarons do the trick in satisfying our craving for something sweet.

Museum of Old and New Art is at 655 Main Road Berriedale, Hobart. Contact them on (03) 6277 9900 or


  1. I do love a good museum from time to time. Those bean bags don't look to comfortable or practical when you're trying to eat and the pie looks so flakey and delicious!

  2. loving all your hobart posts! havent been there yet but will sure visit!

  3. I second John's comments about the tempting flaky pie and the impracticality of the bean bags. Nice view, though.

    I've not yet managed to take an 'empty plate' photo that would look at home on a blog post. Well done!

  4. I've been wanting to go here for so long! Looks fantastic.

  5. Hmmm. After seeing your post on MONA and hearing about it from Erin, we really must make the effort to visit on our next trip to Hobart. Lovely to meet you the other night!!!

  6. MONA really looks does the lunch :) How child friendly would you rate the museum?

  7. Hi Jane, there were quite a few family's with children at MONA. That said there is a bit of art not suitable for the kiddies (quite graphic or explicit) - but you could find out the areas to avoid from the staff pretty easily. Apart from that...IT IS FREAKING AWESOME!

  8. Love the art, installations and your humorous account of this fab place!

  9. I just stumbled across your blog, as a Hobartian I'm happy you enjoyed MONA, it's definitely one of the best things that's happened to Hobart!

  10. That pie has some of the most layered puff pastry I've even seen atop a pie in my life! I'd definitely have food envy too.

  11. I would love to go to that place and stay at the nicest accommodation in town.

    Pousadas Em Paraty

  12. Great! Going to Tasmania on the 12 - 21 Feb, Driving from Sydney to Melbourne, jumping on the Spirit of Tassie and eating our way though Tassie! Can't wait! MONA is on list of things to do!


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