Recommended – Arts to enjoy and nature to visit

Recommended – Arts to enjoy and nature to visit

Australia

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

Aboriginal art at the National Gallery of NSW
Aboriginal art at the National Gallery of NSW

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

We started a tradition of journaling on postcards
We started a tradition of journaling on postcards

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.

Craft NSW 104 George St, The Rocks. T: +61 2 9241 5825. FB: CraftsNSW. E: [email protected]

There were so many lovely pieces. I just loved the horses, lol
There were so many lovely pieces. I just loved the horses, lol

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

Walking through art
Walking through art

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

Ships are a part of the exhibit
Ships are a part of the exhibit

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.

15A Anderson Rd, Thornbury VIC 3071, Australia. T: +61 1300 915 171. E: [email protected]

So well put together in a lovely space
So well put together in a lovely space

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.

Look at that fabulous craftsmanship
Look at that fabulous craftsmanship

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 photo says a thousand words
A photo says a thousand words

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

A raw exhibit on Aboriginal history
A raw exhibit on Aboriginal history

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

Mona is host to many special exhibitions
Mona is host to many special exhibitions

This Gallery was also well stocked with various lovely arts and crafts pieces and most importantly Tasmanian crafts.

Nolan Gallery Space 109, 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart 7000. T: +61 (03) 62233449. M: +61 0438446785. E: [email protected]

Another ode to birds
Another ode to birds

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!

E: [email protected] M: +61 0439 864 704

What a lovely example of nature inspired art
What a lovely example of nature inspired art

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

A little town as a museum
A little town as a museum

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.

The Sydney Botanical Garden had many treasures
The Sydney Botanical Garden had many treasures

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

Gorgeous nature
Gorgeous nature

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

The home of Tasmanian devils and more
The home of Tasmanian devils and more

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

So worth it!
So worth it!

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

Cooper Creek
Cooper Creek

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

Where you get to hug a koala and feed kangaroos
Where you get to hug a koala and feed kangaroos

New Zealand

Places of nature:

Walking an alpaca was my niece’s favorite memory. I will stop there 🙂

215 Tauranga Direct Rd, Kaharoa, Rotorua. T: +64 (0)7 332 2362. E: [email protected]

I love authentic farms and being with animals in them
I love authentic farms and being with animals in them
He loved his flowers
He loved his flowers

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.

192 Fairy Springs Rd, Rotorua. T: +64 (0)7 350 0440. E: [email protected]

A night visit of the nocturnal kiwi bird in its natural habitat
A night visit of the nocturnal kiwi bird in its natural habitat

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.

Hemo Rd, Rotorua. T: +64 (0)7 348 9047. E: [email protected]

The food is cooked by being buried in a hot spring
The food is cooked by being buried in a hot spring
Sulphur springs are something to behold
Sulphur springs are something to behold

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.

Memorial Dr, City Lakefront, Rotorua. T: +64 (0)7348 9984. E: [email protected]

The pilot and guide paving the way on the tour
The pilot and guide paving the way on the tour

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.

178 Fairy Springs Rd, Rotorua. T: +64 (0) 7 347 0027. E: [email protected]

The luge was gentle and fun
The luge was gentle and fun

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.

AMAZING - an unmissable experience
AMAZING - an unmissable experience

It's so special to walk and catch glimpses of running water and then finally to come into a clearing that shows you the source of the water. It's very life-affirming.

Fabulous glimpses of flow all the way through to the source
Fabulous glimpses of flow all the way through to the source

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.

Majestic California oaks
Majestic California oaks
The gorgeous quiet waters of the spring
The gorgeous quiet waters of the spring
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