MONA seems to divide people in their opinion of the gallery. They seem to love it or hate it. We needed to go and have a look for ourselves.
You are allowed to take photos, but not put them on the web. Also, because it is so subjective, you really need to see it for yourself without being influenced by someone else's photos.
My opinion? Some I liked, some I didn't. Does that sound like I'm sitting on the fence? Despite my thoughts on some of the pieces, you have to admire the creativity of the artists. We were told the building is amazing. It is, but once again I think you need to see it for yourself. We had not seen anything of the building or the displays before visiting and I think the surprise factor is part of the appeal.
We certainly are glad we visited.
By now it was lunch time, so we continued into the heart of the city. You could see Mt Wellington, but I think you would have been blown away up on top.
Our destination was Joe's Garage. We had visited here previously and it is rather unusual, as the sign says.
We were on a mission to buy a T-Shirt as a gift, but they had run out, which was disappointing. We still enjoyed our visit.
As we still had plenty of the day left we headed to the south of the city to visit the Cascade Female Factory. I've known about this, but hadn't had a chance to visit on previous visits. I'm glad now, as since we were last here there has been a major change. The site is now managed but the same people as Port Arthur and has been granted World Heritage status. The site was deteriorating so it has now been stabilised. They have also marked out the footprints of the buildings on the ground.
We arrived in time to take a guided tour. It was definitely worth joining in.
Only a small area of the original footings are on show, as they erode in the weather. The remainder are buried under the gravel to be protected.
Conditions here were appalling, being in a cold damp flood prone position. Over 5,000 women passed through here with up to 1,000 living there at a time. No one was allowed to speak. Some were in solitary confinement in total darkness for 23 hours a day for weeks at a time, others had to wear an iron collar as punishment. Most women had to work long hours either in the commercial laundry or sewing, spinning or weaving. At least 1,200 babies were born in the prison, with about 900 of those dying there due to malnutrition or diseases now preventable.