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In lieu of a big party for her 40th Birthday (though in truth she had two), my wife decided that we would make an artist's pilgrimage to MONA The Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart.

Apart from enjoying our brief discovery of the rather pleasant CBD and having some 'us' time, our experience at MONA was simply, sensational and if you're considering, just do it!

We chose to actually stay on site for two nights in one of the eight Pavilions on the waterfront; with gorgeous views, modern architecture and integrated technology. If you can, I highly recommend you do it that way too!

The grounds and setting are beautiful, the staff were amazing and the restaurant was just sublime (degustation anybody?)... And then there's the gallery itself. MONA has a reputation for the controversial and confrontational and whilst I would say that is true, it is accessible to anyone with the hint of an open mind. It is a mind bogglingly large and varied collection for one man (David Walsh) to amass and we are very lucky that he has shared it with us.

The highlight for me was the gallery space itself. Chiseled out of the earth, it is a voluminous and mysterious series of chambers, lined with strange and diverse artifacts, somehow curated in a random yet simultaneously harmonious way.

All visitors receive an iphone which updates as you pass through the gallery, with information on the artwork and even 'Gonzo' commentary from the owner himself. Personally I found the device a little distracting (as it's the only way to get any information) but it does provide a fully downloadable account of your viewing experience on their website.

See mine (enter my email dph@internode.on.net)

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