The 9th stage of my walk along the Derwent River finished at MONA

More serious rain was threatening as I sat at the point, and rather than return to the Berriedale Caravan Park and then locate the Main Road seeking a bus, I decided to investigate whether it was possible to walk up the hill and arrive on the Moorilla estate at MONA (Museum of New and Old Art) by the ‘back door’.

Earlier in the day others had warned me that MONA was closed to the public every Tuesday. As a result, I was somewhat concerned that even if I was able to access MONA property, by the time I reached the Main Road perhaps the exit might be gated and locked and I would need to retrace my steps.  But I am glad to say the day had a happy ending. There were no gates or locks and my exit was simple and easy.

But before then, I continued my voyage of discovery.

It was very easy to wander up the hill from Cameron Bay. Firstly, I came upon a shed with the sign MONA ROTA and beside it a helicopter pad was laid out for the transport of special guests.

The hills behind Berriedale were almost invisible with shrouds of rain and I knew that a heavy downpour would be around me very soon.

Therefore, I was very pleased when I spotted a large concrete pipe, the sort which is used for drainage when major roads are being built. The pipe offered me perfect protection from the wind and rain. While standing inside, I discovered that the pipe was part of an art work, Worm Mound. A number of pipes like it were placed around a tepee located in their centre and then a high mound of rich soil provided a thick cover. Grass seed had sprouted and the mound seemed almost ready for a haircut. What I liked particularly was the long roots that had been inserted in the mound and which hung and draped inside the mound around the tepee.

I have visited MONA many times but I had never walked to this part of the property. The Worm Mound was a strange but uplifting find.

When the rain calmed a little, I ventured out with my umbrella firmly in hand and walked to the open concert area.  As the rain re-intensified, I noticed the rich red transparent door of one of the tall wooden ‘art’ buildings was open. I went inside and sat and listened to the dialogue which formed part of the art experience. Previously I had not made the time to do this and so the experience was most instructive. A meditation space.  In future I will be interested to visit the other similar structures built in the concert area to see if the voice and messages are the same.

Eventually I connected with Moorilla’s main thoroughfare and walked down to the Main Road at Berriedale. Bus stop 33 is located near the entrance to the Moorilla/MONA experience and I didn’t have to wait long for a Metro bus numbered X1 to transport me to Glenorchy and onto Hobart city.

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I left Moorilla/MONA at 4pm, half an hour after leaving the point where the southern end of Cameron Bay met the Derwent River. On a fine day and without any distractions the time required to pass through the property might have been 10 minutes.

I never had the intention to simply pass through this refreshingly invigorating complex with its thought provoking and startling exhibitions.  Besides, I had planned to reward myself at the end of this stage 9 with a glass of their award winning wines. Alas. That pleasure was not to be – on this occasion.

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