In December 2018, we travelled for 2 weeks around the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Never posted from that time, so here is the start of it (this series will definitely go on for sometime).
To start off with, we drove north of Christchurch. We’ll revisit the city at the end of the journey, but the drive up was quite spectacular.
However, there were plenty of reminders of the massive earthquake barely 13 months before. This part of the coastline was very hard-hit, and they were still fixing up major parts of the highway (the main thoroughfare in these parts).
The very slow journey was worth the drive to reach these views.
Like most large galleries, MONA was a mixture of permanent collection and temporary exhibits.
Some of the permanent collection exhibits are fascinating, like the waterfall of words they call bit.fall.
It’s a bit of a maze inside because there are no signage on the walls or set ways to view the works (you are provided with an ipod and headphones to navigate by), but for me that’s what makes it so much fun. You really don’t know what you might see next. It could be an Egyptian mummy, or a weird video installation or an artwork based on a bodily function.
The exhibition at the time was called Zero, and it’s a modern art movement from Germany in the late 1950’s. It’s appropriately minimalist, like this blue ‘pool’ by French artist Yves Klein.
Needless to say, if you don’t enjoy being challenged and completely confused then it’s not the place to be. But if you do enjoy a bit of an adventure (artwise or not) it is worthwhile visiting.
After the visit, we cruised back up the Derwent just as the heavens were opening up. There goes Mount Wellington, for another day at least.
Let’s take a little cruise upstream, to MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). It’s a bit like Disneyland for adults there – a bit absurd, lots of fun, very interesting.
Lots have been said about the place, but it’s no doubt the biggest drawcard to Hobart and has even lifted the whole Tasmanian economy out of the doldrums.
The cruise starts from the centre of Hobart at Brooke Street Pier. Soon we’re passing under Mount Wellington, clear and in sunlight.
The special cruise boat has the absurd MONA touches. Kids loved the sheep seats out back.
And 25 minutes later we pull aside the wharf to the low-key entrance.
Hobart is a nice, sleepy place, with lots of 19th Century sandstone buildings, like this hotel in the CBD.
Its population perhaps tends to be a little eccentric than most. Look what we found in the phone booth!