Hobart’s museums and art galleries keep culture and tourism alive in Tasmania. In recent years, thanks to David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the city has transformed into a hub for creatives with year-round cultural events and festivals attracting mainland and international artists, performers, and designers.
You can find a cultural experience around every corner in Hobart, from world-renowned MONA to street art and small exhibition spaces where contemporary artists showcase their works.
Catch a ferry from Hobart’s waterfront up the River Derwent. In 30 minutes, you’ll arrive on the steps of MONA, Australia’s largest privately owned museum. The space houses more than 2,000 artworks, all from owner David Walsh’s collection, including ethnographic pieces and artefacts from ancient times. The collection is renowned for being thought-provoking and controversial with exhibits that are strange, confronting, and immersive. If you need to take a break, visit the museum’s restaurant, cafe and bar for fine food, wine, and views of the river and surrounding scenery.
While you’re in Hobart, set aside time to visit the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). A combination of museum, art gallery and herbarium, TMAG houses exhibits that represent Tasmania’s rich history and biodiversity. Permanent highlights include the 10,000-item photographic collection and the selection of decorative artworks from the state’s colonial era.
Once Hobart’s first public library, the Carnegie Building (down by the waterfront) now houses the Maritime Museum of Tasmania’s comprehensive collection of paintings, artefacts, and model ships. This is a great place to explore if you’re interested in Hobart’s history, with Tasmania’s maritime heritage central to the development of industries in the community.
Small galleries contribute to Hobart’s thriving culture in a big way as they provide recognition of local artists’ work. Support contemporary Tasmanian and Australian artists by paying a visit to Colville Gallery or Despard Gallery on Hobart’s esplanade (Battery Point). The warmth and styles of the galleries create the perfect atmosphere for the ever-changing and exceptional work on display.