MONA is one of the most exciting things happening in Australia. It’s based around Moorilla Estate, an operating winery since the 1950s that’s now a cultural hub of sophistry and art as well as great wine.
Located on the banks of the River Derwent, it currently has The Ether building at its heart, home to The Source restaurant, the winery Cellar Door and a collection of fine Australian and international art. Early 2011 will see the opening of the Musuem of New and Old Art (MONA) – a three-storey subterranean ‘subversive Disneyland’ and Australia’s largest private museum. Guests can stay within this remarkable complex in one of eight radical structures that make up the MONA Pavilions. The Pavilions overlook the Derwent River and feature artworks from the MONA collection. Four new Pavilions are named for architects who have influenced Australia’s architectural landscape; four original Pavilions are named for artists. Each has its own distinct character. They feature video art from edgy artists like Tamy Ben-Tor, an American performance artist who pokes fun at ‘stupid rich people who buy art’. Furnished by leading local and international designers, they have a fully-equipped kitchen and laundry, an individual wine fridge and wireless touch panels for lighting, temperature, information and audiovisual control. Guests have access to the heated infinity pool, sauna and gymnasium.
Art lovers, rejoice… The architecture, particularly of the four new pavilions, is beam-me-up futuristic with translucent glass and steel cubes that appear suspended on their apex and space-age casings of metallic silver. – The Australian
With the River Derwent at its heart, Mount Wellington rising above it and dramatic settler history behind it, Hobart is arguably Australia’s most distinctive city. Tasmania’s capital is a pocket-sized modern metropolis but enjoys the tranquility of a city from a bygone era: its European beginnings are evident everywhere, from quaint settlers’ cottages to the lofty porches of colonial mansions. Once bustling with whalers and entrepreneurs, 19th-century sandstone warehouses now serve as dockside cafes, artist’s studios and restaurants, where you can enjoy excellent cuisine and fine wines. Hobart is a place of fishing boats, fish punts at the docks, and coffee under the sun-umbrellas where the famous Salamanca Market is held every Saturday. Take a harbour cruise past square-rigged yachts, or drive to the summit of Mount Wellington for a bird’s eye view of islands and estuaries. The area surrounding Hobart is rich with landscapes and experiences, including the Coal River Valley wineries and Australia’s most famous convict heritage site, Port Arthur.
MONA is Australia’s largest private museum housing a collection ranging from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. The building’s subterranean design and David Walsh’s unconventional and challenging curatorial approach will make it a must-see for any international visitor. The museum’s three levels have been cut into the Triassic sandstone of the river bank, and will include touring galleries built to international museum standards.
Stay in one of eight pavilions dedicated to Australian artists and architects who have influenced MONA. They are bold and elegant in design and feature bespoke furniture by Tasmanian designers, along with a Who’s Who in international furniture pieces. Each pavilion overlooks the Derwent River with uninterrupted north-facing views and offer 24/7 concierge on duty, spa baths, king-size beds with 400-thread-count pure cotton bedding, individual wine cellars, top quality kitchen and laundry appliances, under-floor heated bathrooms, iPod docks along with a wide variety of music online, Wi-Fi, Blu-ray disc players, HDTV in each living area and bedroom, Austar, personal security camera system, bathrobes, air conditioning, safe and telephone.