Day One: Hobart

Every journey starts with a small step. This one commenced with a 3.30am departure to meet the tour group and make the morning flight down to Hobart.

The QANTAS flight itself was unremarakable. The inflight scones were horrid. The inflight entertainment amusing. Seated beside two Belgium girls whose luggage had been lost in transit between Antwerp and Heathrow we watched as the flight attandent whose youthful prime must have been in the early 1990s flirt with them. Somehow, we think the charm offensive(and colouring books) was of little consolation to the girls.


After checking into the hotel, we were given the afternoon to explore (cough) the city. It really is four seasons in one day, as in short succession it was raining, cold, humid and mild.


With the attractions of the inner metropolis exhausted we soon found ourselves parting with $40 to experience the ‘must see’ MONA. $20 for the 12km ferry journey up the Derwent River and $20 for entry (apparently free if you are a two-headed Taswegian).

Make no mistake about MONA, the man who owns this collection made his money through gambling (red flag for the ATO) and under the guise of ‘marketing’ (hate people who ask for postcodes) it is one expansive exercise in data mining. Given an O device(akin to a modified iphone) to navigate the collection, it simultaneously provides an cloyingly self-aware analysis of the works while collecting data on what you are viewing and the length of time you spend at each artwork. Hand over your email address and you can relive your visit.

Hate it or loathe it, MONA is an experience (complete with own columbarium). The subterranean gallery with its minimalist
lighting is designed to disorientate. It literally is not for the faint hearted.

MONA, The Museum of Old and New, a testament to one man’s ego and bad taste in art.


You are allowed to take photos in MONA but not permitted to publish them. The visitor’s guide kindly suggests that you buy a postcard. At $2 they are not exactly cheap though they invoke bemusing conversations. A young couple stand beside me as they deliberate over which cards to purchase.

The boy selects the postcard featuring The White Library. His girlfriend reaches for the same one.

‘You can’t choose the same postcard.’ Protests the boy with a tenderness suggesting that this relationship is less than a year old.

‘Why not?’ replies the girl completely missing the economic subtext, ‘It’s emblematic of our love.’


Yes, we did see the Cloaca, the mechanical representation of the digestive system. Its’ odour somewhat unpleasant.




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