We head off to visit MONA

Previous page: Back down to sea level


After breakfast we set off to the wharf area to catch the mini bus to MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. The wharf area is a hive of activity as several booking offices are there plus it is a popular stop for buses picking people up or dropping them off. It is also an area where some folk see fit to park their cars despite it being for pick-up and drop-off vehicles only.

Mona Roma bus The Mona Roma bus





Consequently bus drivers have to wait patiently until certain idiots move their vehicles. The MONA bus is very distinctive in its bright pink and black paint work. The style of the bus reflects what a person is going to see when they arrive at MONA.

The bus ride to MONA took about half an hour. We chose to go there by bus rather than by boat because if you choose the boat option you have 100 steps to climb from sea level up to the museum. The bus dropped us off at the main entrance to the grounds.


The first thing we saw were some very tall, pointed constructions out on the lawn.

Intriguing constructions on the lawnd of MONA Jean by the tall pointy constructions
Looking up inside one of them Looking up inside one of them

They were quite interesting and you could go inside them. There was a restaurant/cafe out the front of the complex where we later ate lunch.

We found another building at the front of the complex housing a classy, upstairs restaurant that had some very nice toilets on their ground floor. In fact they were the best public toilets I've ever been in. Very luxurious indeed.



We walked between those buildings and found a concourse with the entry into the MONA ticket office on the left. We realized we were up quite high from sea level. After a bit of wandering we realized that MONA was built into the side of a hill. It was quite cold and blustery on the concourse which surprised us as the forecast was 24 degrees Celsius.

We had paid for our entry ($20 each) back at the MONA ticket office on the wharf so it didn't take long to get inside - no queueing up for tickets like everybody else! If you are Tasmanian it doesn't cost you anything to enter the museum. It was a case of "maximum impact" as soon as we walked into the building. Ian had to hand over his small backpack to be stored in a secure cloakroom. I was allowed to hang on to my smaller bag. From this entry point, everything in the museum is down below ground, buried in the side of the hill. It was a bit like a rabbit warren with steps and slopes everywhere to access various floors and exhibitions. There is also a lift which is like no other lift we had ever seen. This lift is quite an art statement in itself. It is circular and totally see-through.


Mona Ian checking out the concourse
The cement truck The cement mixer exhibit








The displays in the museum were all very different and of course would have appealed to folk with various tastes in art. It would have been a particularly good place to visit if you were interested in sexual art. We had never seen so many stick figures engaging in sex in so many different positions. To us, the whole "sex thing" became quite boring after a while. We are both very broad minded but enough was enough. In the little MONA shop there is even a box of small soaps for sale. They cost over $30 each and they were moulded into the shape of a woman's private parts and I don't mean boobs either.

Some of the exhibitions were weird, some very puzzling and some, to us, were down right silly. We couldn't see any art in a floor display of bags of coal set in a circle. One artwork was of water pouring over a ledge to create a waterfall and in the falling water you could read words. I remembered seeing this on the Sunrise TV show when Grant Denyer went to MONA. You could have stayed there watching it for quite a while. It was a challenge to try to capture the words by taking a photograph of them.


Car at MONA Ian's dream car?
Waterfall spelling out words Words made from water









We also liked this huge metal sphere with windows in it. When you looked inside you could see birds, skulls, hands, wires and books in there moving around. It was intriguing to figure out how it was done.

We opted for a late lunch at the cafe/restaurant at the front of the complex. We shared our meal and ordered Bruschetta with a pumpkin and Feta salad. Cost $26 total. It wasn't too bad as far as meals go.


Next page: Time to head back on the boat




View from the concourse at MONA

The view from MONA