Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 11, 2020

Tasmania, a short visit

We have just returned from a short trip to Tasmania to attend a party to celebrate the birthdays of some lovely friends. We began our visit in beautiful Binalong Bay on the north east coast where the weather seemed to forget it is summer.

Our first morning was overcast, but the beach still looked wonderful.

There are some stunning flowering trees.

The next morning the sun made a brief appearance.

We drove along the Bay of Fires to a place called The Gardens. The land is parched and dry…rain is needed badly.

I think the area should be named The Rocks. These gorgeous rock formations are the best feature.

After Binalong Bay we drove to Hobart, stopping along the way at Devil’s Corner winery. We were almost blown off our feet by a fierce wind on the way to the viewing tower.

The view made it worthwhile.

Our main reason for the Hobart visit was to go to MONA, the museum of old and new art. The museum is owned by David Walsh and is the largest privately funded museum in the Southern Hemisphere. The first version of the museum was founded in 2001. This closed In 2006 for renovations and was reopened in 2011.
We visited the first time before the renovations and were stunned by the size and stunning architecture of the new museum.

We took the ferry up the Derwent river to MONA. Tickets in the Posh Pit are $55 return. This includes, wine, coffee and snacks. The regular tickets are $22. We bought our tickets at the booth in the Brooke St Pier along with entry to MONA, $30.

The trip up river is just 30 minutes with excellent scenery all the way.

There is an enormous zinc refinery on the river bank. The Nyrstar Hobart refinery was established in 1916 and is one of the world’s largest zinc smelters. I imagine that when it was built it was quite a long way out of town, but now it occupies prime real estate on the river, surrounded by suburbs.

Soon we arrived at MONA and walked the 100 steps up to the museum.


The buildings and installations in the above ground part of the museum are fascinating and require as much time as the gallery exhibits.

The views from the museum are stunning.

The Moorilla Winery was on the site before the museum. It was established in 1958 by Claudio Alcorso and the first Moorilla wine was foot crushed and wild fermented in 1962. David Walsh bought the site in 1995.


Rain drove us into the gallery. There is a lift or spiral staircase down the 3 floors to the beginning of the exhibition.

The huge space has been carved out of the rock.

You can begin with refreshments at the bar.

…followed by a walk to the first exhibition.

A water wall with random words projected onto it.

Here is a selection of exhibits. You really need to visit to really appreciate what is on offer.

This one stood out. I think I need to make something similar as a scarecrow for our garden at Casa Debbio.

There are 3 floors to explore, allow plenty of time. The building is stunning, quite often more impressive than the art.

We had lunch at The Source, the on site restaurant. The food was delicious and the service excellent.

MONA is a great reason to visit Hobart.

We later drove to Frogmore Creek, a fabulous winery 20 minutes out of Hobart. The vineyard is spectacular and the winery and restaurant amazing. The winery shop is the best I have seen. What a pity we had already had lunch.

We called in briefly to Richmond, home of the oldest bridge in Australia. It was opened in 1825, 10 years before any similar structure in Australia. The bridge was built by convict labour to enable reliable transport of people and goods to the east coast and Port Arthur, the convict settlement.

The town is very pretty and full of lovely old houses. Unfortunately rain and wind chased us away before we could explore properly.

We don’t complain about rain after the horrific fires this summer. We have now had torrential rain in many parts of Australia. The good news is that the fires are out, but now we have floods causing damage. Let’s hope it settles down soon.


  1. I loved visiting Tasmania , particularly the East Coast although all of it was very charming –

    • It is a pretty part of the world.

  2. I’ve never seen Tassie so dry, thank goodness for the rain, even though it spoiled your sightseeing!! MONA looks well worth a visit, hope I get time on my holiday, if not that then a Derwent cruise is on the list!! Great photos, the new camera seems pretty good!! The operator’s not too rough either!!! Jxx

    • I hope Tasmania is benefiting from the recent rain. It is difficult to see it so dry. The rain we had while there was just a nuisance, not enough to do any good.

  3. Binalong Bay my favourite place to visit in Tasmania. Will be there in a few weeks.

    • There is a name from my past! We were at Miami High School more than 50 years ago.

  4. Great blog……must visit Tasmania soon. The family of my Australian/Polish friend have a family home at Binalong Bay……such a beautiful place. You must be off to Italia soon….wish I was there…ma
    ybe next year.

    • I leave for Italy next week. I am keen to get back to my garden.

  5. Great post, Deb. I still haven’t seen MONA, looking forward to visiting in May (we are on the ferry with the animals rather than the posh pit). Would have been lovely to catch up with you, maybe next time?

    • The ferry takes only 30 minutes to get to and from MONA, so the posh pit is hardly worth it. We were on the first boat in the morning so it was breakfast.

  6. Love Tasmania, my daughter lives in Launceston – visited MONA last month – great post – enjoy Italia!

    • MONA is amazing, completely different from our first visit.

  7. Beautiful photos. Thank you.

    • Despite the weather I managed a few blue skies.

  8. Lovely blog Debra. Never been to Tasmania and this definitely piqued my interest. Stunning photos (even the one of the zinc smelter!!). Hope you’re planning another visit to Puglia soon. Orna

    • Thank you. The zinc smelter was incredible! It is huge and quite beautiful in its own way.

  9. Lovely photos Deb. Tasmania is such a beautifully part of the world.

  10. You really packed a lot into a short visit to Tasmania! Thanks for bringing back memories 😀

  11. What a marvellous trip you made to Tasmania, Deb! Your pictures bring out the beauty of Binnalog Bay. Love the colourful rocks along the shore. My goodness! The MONA Museum is certainly something to behold!! I had no idea how different it appears with all these weird and wonderful designs on display. Wow! Next time we go to Hobart, we’ll visit it.

  12. I really like Tassie and found MONA completely fascinating – great photos, Deb

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