MONA is Australia's largest private art museum and one of the country's most talked-about cultural institutions. It opened in January 2011 and houses the collection of eccentric Tasmanian millionaire David Walsh.
Carved into the sandstone cliffs of a peninsula in north Hobart, the building alone is worth a visit. It won the National Architecture Award in November 2012.
The collection ranges from antiquities (including several Egyptian mummies) to contemporary art, and visitors are encouraged to give their opinion of the artworks through the interactive audio guide 'the O'.
I loved the design of the building and the way in which visitors are encouraged to interact with the art. MONA lives up to the hype and is one of the most unusual and entertaining art galleries I've ever been too.
The best way to get there is by ferry. The trendy, camouflage print MONA ferry leaves from the docks of Hobart's old town. There is a coffee bar on board and if you go out on deck there are amazing views of Mount Wellington and Hobart's beautiful surroundings.
Adult entry to MONA is $20 and the ferry costs another $20 for a return ticket.
The Wheeler Centre is a cultural institution dedicated to books, writing and ideas. It is the centrepiece of Melbourne’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature and organises events, lectures, readings and debates about literature and a wide range of other issues. All the events I've been to there have been really thought-provoking, and they are a great way to gain insight into both contemporary writing and 21st-century Australia. And one of the best things about The Wheeler Centre is that most of the events are free! Reserving tickets through the website is very simple so if you're visiting Melbourne make sure you check out The Wheeler Centre's programme.
No trip to Melbourne would be complete without a visit to one of the city's great food markets (Queen Victoria market, South Melbourne market & Prahran market are my 3 favourites). And from mid-November to the end of February most of Melbourne's markets are open late one night a week. There's live music, and stalls selling street food from all around the world. Snacks/dishes are usually reasonably priced (under $12) and there's a great atmosphere.
This online poetry collection of works by local Melbourne spoken word artists and poets is a great way to get a feel for the city and its people. Each poem is inspired by a different place (a statue, a building, a street corner) and the poems have been organised into a series of poetry walks, which you can download as MP3 files. Explore Melbourne through its poets and you'll discover what a creative and inspiring city this is.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org