Museum of Old and New Art - Mona
Standing on the stern of the military camouflaged MR-1 Ferry surrounded by life-size, fiberglass sheep and graffiti covered walls, it's already apparent that the MONA experience is far from that of your conventional museum.
We disembarked the ferry and climbed the stairs into the shadow of the Museum of Old and New Art – a building that is rather underwhelming from the outside, but like so many things in Tasmania, the real discoveries are awaiting just below the surface.
I entered MONA down a glass, spiral staircase, descending three storeys into an idiosyncratic rabbit hole chiseled in the rocky banks of the River Derwent.
I've learnt from previous visits to grab a glass of wine or a beer as I enter the museum, as you may need it for the full on assault of the senses that awaits you.
As Australia's largest private museum, it houses everything from ancient to modern to contemporary art in a setting that the owner and curator has fondly referred to as "a subversive adult Disneyland."
All the artworks are unlabeled and instead I'm presented with a GPS enabled iPod touch – the O experience - that provides an interactive commentary as I wandered the mazes within the Triassic sandstone cavern.
I watched my heartbeat pulsating in a light bulb installation until it was eventually lost in the sea of light pulses of other visitors. I jumped on a trampoline tethered with meditation bells whose echoes followed me as I roamed rest of the museum. And I had the chance to see (and smell) the start-to-finish inner workings of a simulated digestive system.
I was confronted by beautiful curiosities and by works that were provocative, disarming and disorientating. But despite the inevitable discomfort that MONA occasionally offers, it's always an incredible journey that has a Pied Piper-like ability to continually draw its guests deeper and deeper into its bizarre bowels.