What its like at MONA
No apologies for this self indulgence, maybe that's what MONA is all about anyway. If you're taking kids and you don't want to have trouble finding food to suit them take a picnic or else buy a selection of reasonably priced bits and pieces from the cafe and grab a Moo Brew, find some grass or a bean-bag on the lawn and chill.
MONA is not exactly set up for kids but despite that I can't go near the place without them. It must be extra fascinating for kids because the building itself seems to keep secrets. The more contentious pieces are indicated, for parents sensitive souls, which is good. Great thing for locals is the price; thanks for giving Tassie residents free entry, David. KM
MONA - The Museum of Old & New Art
So it sits on the point, a peninisula given to Claudio Alcorso in the late 1950's along with 100,000 pounds to establish a textile manufacturing business in Derwent Park, between MONA and Hobart CBD, which is 10km away. The business manufactured Sheridan sheets and pillow cases until about 1992 when the tariffs which had protected the industry were phased out and it became uneconomical to continue production. The Alcorso family had long moved into wine production by then anyway during the formative years of Moorilla Winery, a front runner in the evolution and eventual recognition of the Tasmanian Wine Industry. Today there are few arguements about the standing of Tasmanian cool climate wines as exemplars in their category.
The Saturday (Sea-Breeze) Market at MONA - 'MoMa'
Playing on the success of the waterfront drawcard for foodies and lovers of all things good, David Walch's arty and attractive, immaculately dressed girlfriend had an idea: a Saturday market for a few weeks over the Summer. Despite a few teething problems as the tenting systems were adjusted to cope with the strong afternoon sea-breezes, the market appeared to be well attended and contained ample standard as well as exclusive fare from far and wide. Pitched a little on the elite side but really interesting, perhaps the concert lawns would be a better spot to have it but there is no doubting the originality in every respect. This was a market par excellence, true to the roots of the farmers market but some exquisite specialties which really must be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated.
The setting, the library, the different little world, which is MONA and Moorilla Estate Vineyard
Look, after you've seen everything in the museum, which is a challenge to do in one go, you can go thru a 2m wide concrete water pipe, completely underground and end up in the MONA Library. Some really interesting exhibits, a playroom, antiquities, old and new books (what do you expect) and a handful of artists studios houses in the ammended rotunda of the in-laws house from 40 years ago. Set as it is in the midst of grape-vines in perfect rows.MORE TO COME AS AT 8th AUGUST 2012
Visit the Freycinet Peninsula and Wineglass Bay
The Freycinet Peninsula is a hook of land, ridged by granite mountains, about midway up the east coast of Tasmania. It makes a sheltered playground for swimming and kayaking in the bay on the landward side, while on the exposed seaward side is the much-photographed crescent of Wineglass Bay, best viewed after a short sharp climb to the lookout. It’s a prime summer-holiday destination for the natives, and attracts many out-of-state visitors too, so expect to share the walks and beaches with others.
Take a Gordon River cruise from Strahan
The weather patterns that affect Tasmania are generated in open ocean way to the west of the island. Clouds rush onto the mountains of the west coast and are pushed upwards to discharge their load on that side of the central highland ridge. Rainfall here is measured in metres rather than inches per annum. Much is collected in lakes and dams and a goodly quantity snakes its way down the course of the Gordon River to find outlet in the vast natural haven of Macquarie Harbour. Take a cruise from Strahan and marvel at the overgrowth of temperate rainforest mirrored in the gentle river flow.
Visit the Tahune Forest Airwalk
Forestry Tasmania has critics but this state-government department has done much to improve its public image by building the nearly 600metre-long walkway through the treetops at Tahune, on the edge of the South West Wilderness. The climax of the walk is a cantilever, 48 metres above the ground, with a dramatic view of forested mountains beyond the confluence of the Huon and Picton Rivers. Half of Tasmania is locked-up with forests of eucalypts and hardwood trees, perhaps the most endearing quality of the island experience, and the opportunity to explore not only the floor but the canopy is best undertaken at the Tahune Forest Airwalk.
See the view from the summit of Mt Wellington
It’s a winding narrow road to the 1270-metre summit of Mt Wellington and when you emerge from the forest that covers the slopes above Hobart, into the landscape of scrub and boulders that are battered by winds and winter snow, you are rewarded with a 360-degree panorama that takes in the city, the Derwent River, Tasman Peninsula and distant hazy peaks. It’s a real bird’s-eye view, perhaps a bit disengaged, but ideal for getting geographically oriented. If the day is not too chilly you will remember the sights with fondness.
Visit Cataract Gorge in Launceston
You would want to reach Cataract Gorge Reserve by walking from the city centre of Launceston, firstly because it is an easy, level twenty-minute stroll and, more importantly, because it cements in your mind how attached this natural stealaway is to the urban sprawl. Follow the Tamar River bank to Kings Bridge, where the South Esk River meets, and wander along the well-trodden pathway under the cliffs to First Basin, the ferntree glades and gardens, the picnic areas and swimming pool, the cafe and an overhead chairlift ride. There is also wildlife in abundance.
Stroll around Sullivans Cove and Salamanca Markets
This is a mecca for tourists and locals alike. The working docks at Sullivans Cove, where ships come and go to Antarctica, and fishing boats, millionaire yachts and tall-masted wooden vessels provide colour and movement, are the foreground for sandstone-fronted colonial warehouses that have been transformed into art and craft centres, coffee shops and eateries. Saturday morning is the ideal time to visit. Then the Salamanca Markets are in full swing and you can make your contribution to the Tasmanian economy.
Fly to Melaleuca in the South West Wilderness
The Southwest National Park is not accessible by road. It is the largest protected reserve in Tasmania, covering 20 percent of the island, and it has been designated a World Heritage Area. Take a charter flight from Hobart Airport, round the wave-lashed cliffs of South Cape and land at Melaleuca. You get sweeping views of Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey before bouncing to a halt on a dirt runway. Believe it or not there are a couple of people living in tin shacks and ekeing out an existence at Melaleuca. They have for company the Orange Bellied Parrots and the hardy through-walkers hiking this remote wilderness. The weather is as bleak as the surroundings but, whatever they are escaping, and there is plenty in the world to wish behind you, they surely find satisfaction in the silence, the water, the button-grass plains and the jagged mountains. And you will too, even if for but a few hours.
Tour through the Central Highlands
In the heart of the Central Highlands of Tasmania is Great Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake in Australia, sadly, after many long years of drought, at a fraction of its capacity but still, nevertheless, impressive. This is trout fishing country. It is also where Hydro Tasmania has many of its storage dams and infrastructure for generating hydro-electric power. Farmlands here are marginal at best but the rocky plateau, dotted with sheep, reminds one immediately of the Scottish Highlands, doubtless a factor that attracted migrants from that part of the world. They brought the game of golf with them and gave their towns names like Ross and Campbelltown. After the forests, the lush green meadows of the north coast, the sandy beaches and the mountain peaks, I would be surprised if you did not find that the Central Highlands add something rich to the diversified flavour of Tasmania.