If you’re planning a trip to Hobart you’re likely planning on making a stop in at MONA. While it’s definitely a must-see when you’re in town, don’t miss out on the other amazing art and design stores, galleries and museums all within this one beautiful harbour city. Like many Kiwi Expedia travellers, we nipped over the Bass Straight for a just few days but that was plenty of time to hunt down a whole host of great places to visit for the design enthusiast. Here are some of our favourite stores and galleries to make the most of your next trip!
You really can’t come to Hobart and skip MONA – it would be like not visiting the Empire State Building at least once when you’re in New York. Since the opening of the Museum of Old and New Art in 2011, the museum has cemented itself as an important cultural destination. As Australia’s largest private museum, it’s probably one of the only places you can see Egyptian sarcophagi next to a Brett Whitely, with a machine manufacturing excrement just around the corner. We made MONA our first point of call so we could maximise our time there, taking time to appreciate all of the sights and, erm, smells of the artworks. You can catch the dedicated MONA ferry from the Brooke Street Pier (the Posh Pit at the front of the ferry serves sparkling and canapes!), or you can drive there too – but be warned there’s stiff competition in the car parks. Guarantee a spot by splashing out on a night in the MONA Pavilions. The staircase that descends into the darkness of MONA is your first hint at what sort of experience to anticipate. With so many different artists and types of art represented, it can take quite some time to get through, and the ‘O’ iPhone you’re handed on arrival to learn about the artworks means that you’ll spend more time engaged with the pieces rather than the cursory glance at the wall plaque you’d find in many traditional museums. The Sidney Nolan ’Snake’ mural was our favourite piece, a giant rainbow serpent of colour in Nolan’s signature style, made from more than 1,600 paintings.
A jam-packed space with a strong focus on handmade Tasmanian goods and natural products makes Merchant a hard store to walk away from empty handed. Organic soaps shaped like birds eggs (that you can buy in a sweet half dozen carton too!), knitted woollens, and handmade chocolates, are piled high on every surface. This is a great place to find a gift for that friend who has everything, but appreciates a local touch