Places to enjoy art:
This is the established museum of Sydney for art across the ages. I loved its Aboriginal sections and it had what seemed to be an amazing restaurant and a cafe that had good, fresh fare as well!
Art Gallery Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
I think a visit to a country isn’t complete without at least one brush with the performing arts. I looked again for something related to Aboriginal art. This theater has those kinds of performances.
Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay NSW 2000, Australia +61 2 9251 5333
Speaking of galleries that display and sell arts and crafts, this one was my favorite. I could have easily walked away with half the gallery haha. It’s also run by two ladies who are well informed and so gracious and warm. I so wish I had more time to spend with them.
Contemporary art, for me, is a mixed bag, haha. Some of it I just don’t see and some, unfortunately, doesn’t reflect healthy psyches. I know this is a bias that I have, and I own it as I feel that public works even in addressing difficult issues or states should within them carry hope, health, and balance as part of their accessible message. Having said that, I love how experiential it can be and loved that aspect of what the museum had to offer, plus its gift shop 🙂 It also ran happiness workshops that seemed interesting. If they are still running when you visit they may be worth a try. Book in advance as they fill up quickly!
140 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia. T: +61 02 9245 2400
This museum captures the essence of Australia so beautifully as the sea and what it brought played a big role in its history and development. The Aboriginal sections again are amazing!
2 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The architecture of this museum is lovely, reflecting certain aspects of Islam like the five pillars and the athan so beautifully. It, of course, has a section on important Australian Muslims which is very informative. The gift shop has interesting Muslim-inspired objects that would be hard to source in Australia and the welcome was so warm and gracious.
An important museum solely dedicated to Aboriginal art and culture and where the tours are run by Aboriginal guides. I understand from my friend that the location has moved. I am sure that it will be easy to locate once it's set up.
Beautiful art, an excellent Aboriginal section and a wonderful exhibit on the history of Melbourne, which is a great window into an important part of Australian history.
Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson Street Carlton, Victoria, 3053. T: +61 3 8341 7777
A lovely museum to round out your understanding of Tasmania, whether you see the permanent collection or visiting exhibits.
Dunn PI, Hobart TAS 7000, Australia. T: +61 3 6165 7000
I didn’t get to visit this museum as we were short on time but anyone I spoke to in Tasmania asked if I had visited it. So again, if you are interested in the arts, Mona comes highly recommended from Aussies and visitors alike.
655 Main Rd, Berriedale TAS 7011, Australia. T: +61 3 6277 9900
I loved the explicit connection Suzette makes between nature and art in her pieces. I met her husband who was selling the art. I love family teams. He also told me that if you send a photo of something you want a piece inspired by, they are happy to make it!
That was a fun foray into a different time and place. I loved how the museum’s shops were selling food, copper items, candles and candy just like then. There were simulations of schools from that time period for both adults and children, and a visit to the mines which we didn’t get to do.
Bradshaw Street, Ballarat, Victoria, 3350. T: +1 819 825 5025
Places of nature:
This was a special botanical garden with so many interesting sections to visit and tours to participate in. It's on my list to visit again and again whenever I am in Sydney.
Mrs Macqueries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia.
If you have time this is a beautiful piece of heaven tucked away in Tasmania.
74-90 Basin Rd, West Launceston TAS 7250, Australia. T: +61 36323 3000
Every sanctuary was a pleasure to visit. This one had the infamous Tasmanian devil and the echidna. We were also so lucky to see the baby wombat nursing as we spoke with its caretaker and feed the kangaroos.
Wildlife park in Brighton, Tasmania. 593 Briggs Rd, Brighton TAS 7030, Australia. T: +61 3 6268 1184
We were going to skip this because we were so tired and had little time left, but I am sooo glad I went. It is its own special immersion in nature with a pedantic twist and that canopy tower was lovvvely to walk up. Make sure you get the audio tour to give you more context.
Tulip Oak Road, Turn off Cape Tribulation Road, Cow Bay QLD 4873, Australia. T: +61 7 4098171
We didn’t go to this one either, lol but it seems to offer great immersive experiences and is serious about the tours it offers.
Daintree Rainforest 2333 Cape Tribulation Road Diwan, QLD 4873
Here is where we got to see some great birds, feed kangaroos and hug a koala bear awww.
708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069, Australia. T: +61 7 3378 1366
Places of nature:
The best part of the park is the night visit to see the nocturnal kiwi birds in their natural habitat. There is also a day visit to watch their daytime feeding. It happens in an enclosed dark space as well, as that’s when they are comfortable to be out and about. I preferred going at night and seeing them roaming free and I tell you it was one of my wackiest experiences to date with animals and nature.
There are other tours that do the same thing as Te Puia. I understand from locals that this one is the most authentic in showing Maori culture. There are a couple of options. You can pay to enter and walk around different areas including the sulphur springs with signs explaining about Maori culture. Or, you can do a proper tour and walk through different parts and aspects. There is also a dinner and show option which we took and it was an interesting enough experience. I tend to not like manicured interactions with locals and this was somewhat like that, but my understanding is that that is all that’s available.
This was an incredible experience from beginning to end. It starts with a helicopter ride that takes you over luscious greenery and then over the sea, where if you are lucky you can spot dolphins or sharks. The volcanic island is a natural phenomenon and so unusual, visually speaking with its incredible sulphur yellow breaking up the colors and textures of earth and steam in the air or bubbling ground to remind you of where you are walking. Just incredible.
The luge is a sweet and gentle way to flit through trees and enjoy nature in a calm way. I think it was almost too calm for my niece but I appreciated the different pace after all the other points of extreme nature we had experienced to that point.
This was the best experience of nature I have ever had. I love gorges and this felt like surfing through a gorge up close and personal. There is a choice to do it on a boat, but if you are up for the adventure then, to be in the water is unmissable.
39 Waitomo Village Rd, Waitomo Caves, Otorohanga 3943, New Zealand.
So this spring is at the end of a good walk on a path between large majestic California oaks to one side and quiet beautiful scenic views of the water with ducks to liven the quiet. Then you come to the source which honestly was fascinating to look at and see darker waters moving slowly as water was springing onto the surface and moving along to keep the river flowing. That sight truly moved me.