Courtesy of Mona
Courtesy of Mona
Travel Tip

Art and Culture – Tassie’s Must Not Miss Bucket List

Kathryn Leahy
​Against the well-known background of natural beauty and rich convict history, a new Tasmania is emerging, one that puts a high value on cultural and artistic endeavour. Don’t miss Tassie’s art and culture underground. Here’s our must-not-miss bucket list.

Mona

Australia’s largest private museum of art and antiquities, the Museum of Old and New Art – Mona, on the banks of the River Derwent, is quite literally underground. The museum has three levels cut into the Triassic sandstone of the river bank. Its subterranean design and the owner’s challenging curatorial approach make it a must-see museum and art gallery – even if art isn’t your thing. Owned by millionaire gambler David Walsh, the museum houses a collection ranging from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the world’s most thought-provoking contemporary art. There’s a lot going on at Mona over winter. Don’t miss Dark Mofo (15-24 June), ‘Zero is the Beginning’ (9 June 2018 – 22 April 2019) and ‘Jam Jazz at Mona’ (every Saturday and Sunday, included in museum entry).

illuminated sign reading Dark Mofo
Adam Gibson
Dark Mofo entry fire and lights at night

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery features Tasmania’s natural and cultural heritage and is one of the few in the world to combine a history and science museum, art gallery and herbarium under the one roof. Highlights include the award-winning Tasmanian Aboriginal exhibition ningennah tunapry, and the Islands to Ice: Antarctica and the Southern Ocean exhibition.

interior of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart
Simon Cuthbert
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

QVMAG

The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston has a national profile for its collections of Australian colonial art, decorative arts and design, Tasmanian history, and natural sciences. The museum is located across two sites – Royal Park, which houses the art gallery, and Inveresk, home to the museum.

exterior of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Luwith red metal sculpture in foreground
Rob Burnett
QVMAG at Inveresk

Design Tasmania

Tasmania’s indigenous timbers are unequalled in the world; Huon pine, King Billy pine, celery top pine, sassafras, and myrtle are just a few of the species native to the island and found nowhere else. As a result, Tasmania has become a magnet for designers working with wood. Design Tasmania in Launceston promotes contemporary craft and design and is home to the Design Tasmania Wood Collection plus a dynamic program of contemporary craft and design-related exhibitions and projects. It features installations and one-off pieces and commissions, all of which are for sale.

woman looking at artwork on a wall
Chris Crerar
Design Tasmania

Salamanca Arts Centre

Salamanca Arts Centre is Tasmania’s multi-arts creative hub and an engine room for art-making and presentation. The centre is home to more than 70 arts organisations, arts retailers and artists in studios, and offers an extensive exhibition and performing arts program all year round. Housed in iconic Georgian sandstone warehouses built in the 1830’s, these buildings once stored grain, wool, whale oil, apples and imported goods from around the world. Nowadays, you can wander under the heavy stone arches to find craft and design shops, jewellers, cafes, restaurants, galleries, subterranean bookshops and fashion boutiques. From here it’s a short walk up Kelly’s Steps to the historic Battery Point precinct.

man and woman in front of retail shop at the Salamanca Arts Centre complex
Adrian Cook
Salamanca Arts Centre

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1948, Hobart’s Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is Tasmania’s flagship performing arts organisation. A leader in music of the Classical and early Romantic periods, the TSO enjoys a high national and international profile through its world-wide broadcasts and award-winning recordings.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra playing to a crowd at the Federation Concert Hall in Hobart
Alastair Bett
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Theatre Royal

Described by Noel Coward as “a dream of a theatre”, the Theatre Royal in Hobart is Australia’s oldest working theatre. There are guided tours available during the day while at night the stage comes alive with theatre, contemporary music, dance and entertainment.

the stage of the Theatre Royal looking at red seats
Nick Osborne
Theatre Royal

Burnie Makers Workshop

Part contemporary museum, part arts centre, the Burnie Makers Workshop honours Burnie’s history, makers, innovators and artists. Try your hand at making paper, talk to the makers about their craft, shop for interesting locally made gifts or browse the latest exhibition in the gallery.

red felt hat sitting next to business card at the Burnie Makers Workshop
Heidi Sze
Burnie Makers Workshop

Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery

The Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery is a unique purpose-built showcase for environmental photography. Beautiful, dramatic images from Australian and international photographers will excite your imagination, lift your spirits and expand your horizons.

woman and young female child looking at painting
Supplied Courtesy of RACT Destinations
Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery

Sheffield Murals – An Outdoor Art Gallery

In Sheffield, a tiny town on the road to Cradle Mountain, there are murals painted on the buildings that share curious Tasmanian stories with passers-by. None more curious than Gustav Weindorfer’s, the man responsible for Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair being declared a national park. Born in Austria, Gustav was an adventurer at heart. He married atop Mt Roland and lived with the love of his life in the Cradle Valley, until she passed away. Gustav stayed there alone in the wilderness until his death. It was an isolated place, as Gustav wrote in his diary “When the ground is all covered in snow, I build a big fire, open my door, seat myself very, very quietly in front of the blazing logs and presently they come in, one by one, the wild animals, without their usual fear of man or of one another, and share with me, in stillness, the grateful warmth”.

Sheffield's Outdoor Gallery Art Murals in Tasmanian Regional town
Rob Burnett
Sheffield's Outdoor Gallery

Devonport Regional Gallery

In keeping with Tasmania’s passion for re-purposing early buildings, the Devonport Regional Gallery is housed in a refurbished Baptist Church (1904). The gallery holds an annual program of exhibitions and public programs. It collects and promotes Tasmanian art, craft and design and runs an emerging artist program to support local and state-wide artists.

woman looking at three paintings on a wall at the Devonport Regional Gallery
Rick Eaves
Devonport Regional Gallery

Tasmania Arts Guide

Explore Tasmania’s vibrant arts and cultural scene with the Tasmania Arts Guide.  The guide makes it easy to discover some of the best arts and cultural experiences in the state. Check out the events page – it’s packed with everything that’s happening around the island.

man performing on a stage at the Peacock Theatre in Hobart
Adrian Cook
Performance at the Peacock Theatre

Artbikes

This is a unique way to explore Hobart’s art and culture scene. Jump on an Artbike for a day, free of charge, and pedal your way around the many arts and cultural spots of Hobart using a specially designed arts map as your guide.

close up of the front of an Artbike bicycle
Nic Goodwolf
Artbikes

 

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Discover more Tasmania

For more information to help you plan your trip to Tassie, feed your curious at our other helpful site, Discover Tasmania

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