Forget about rocking up to Tasmania's premium tourist attraction in your mate's beat-up station wagon or slumming it out on the Metro bus service. A far classier method of arrival to the avant-garde Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart's northern suburbs is via the MONA Roma ferry. The ferry, like all things MONA, is suitably glitzy, kitsch-y, and in the words of MONA founder David Walsh himself, utterly art wank-y.
If you haven't yet heard, MONA is something of an institution in Hobart, breaking most of the museum world's rules, in fact breaking most of Hobart's rules. The art contained within oscillates between challenging to beautiful to downright weird and sometimes kinda gross. But if you're visiting Hobart, you really must visit. No exceptions to this rule.
The catamaran itself, docked at Hobart's Brooke Street Pier, is painted in military-style camouflage colours, matching the funky attire of the hip but officious staff keeping order of all aboard. You'll notice once you make your way onboard that it's not the usual "ships ahoy", nautical-theme décor. Instead you'll find a full-size cow, several sheep that double as seats, a spunky graffiti stairwell, stencil-art, birdcages and astro-turf.
Cruisey-looking graff to get you in the arty mood.
You have two options. The first is a simple passenger fare – 20 bucks return. A bar and café and set up so you can buy and indulge in as much boozing and snacking as your heart desires. The second option is the Posh Pit fare – 50 bucks return. Sounds a bit steep, but it's worth it. You can change your booking date and time at whim, and you'll also get access to an exclusive lounge, bar and private deck, as well as getting the royal treatment with priority boarding and disembarking. You'll get table service with complimentary Moorilla wine and Moo Brew beers. These brands are owned by MONA with vineyards onsite and a brewery located a little further north. You'll also be served with complimentary canapés.
The entire ride goes for about 30 minutes, and it's just lah-vely. Head out onto the deck to see gorgeous views of Hobart's waterfront, Mount Nelson, and the Derwent River. Step onto the front deck for a wind-whipping, Miami Vice, experience.
The ferry departs about once an hour, and it's well worth investing a few extra dollars for the experience. You'll arrive giddy with anticipation as you enter the cave-like museum and uncover all the crazy bits and pieces within. Just make sure you keep an eye on your watch – MONA is a lot of fun, and you don't want to miss your ferry ride back to Hobart…