12 of the best Victorian art galleries
Embrace the great indoors and uncover a world bursting with colour, intrigue, and romanticism.
The corridors of art galleries transport you to a time long ago, a time familiar, even a time hoped for. The stories that are secured on the walls or behind glass are many and varied: dramatic, thought-provoking, subtle, intricate, controversial.
Victoria’s art galleries are among the most impressive in the land and are the ideal wet-weather holiday activity.
Brush aside bad weather – it’s time to explore Victoria’s leading art galleries...
1. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Put simply, the National Gallery of Victoria (NVG) is Australia’s premier art gallery, delivering world-class collections across two sites.
Outstanding European, American, and Asian art is among the 70,000-plus works at NGV International, which also hosts significant temporary exhibitions. Meanwhile, the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia has more Australian art than anywhere in the world. Enjoy a gripping historical journey that extends from the colonial era to present day.
2. Art Gallery of Ballarat
The Art Gallery of Ballarat is one of Australia’s best regional galleries and is a visual reminder of the wealth that flowed during Victoria’s gold-rush days. The nation’s oldest regional gallery has a booming Australian collection that guides you through an extensive time period and features works from some of our biggest artists.
3. Bendigo Art Gallery
Earning just as much attention as its Goldfields neighbour is Bendigo Art Gallery. It delivers a visual feast thanks to a wide variety of art, including incredibly striking pieces as well as a series of works concentrating on the local goldfields. To complement this permanent collection, Bendigo has an exhibition program that’s the envy of many.
4. Castlemaine Art Museum
The art deco-style Castlemaine Art Museum is a great attraction for a rainy day. Another Goldfields region gem, its focus is on Australian art, notably important works from the late 1800s from some of the nation’s most revered artists.
Book now: BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park.
5. TarraWarra Museum of Art, near Healesville
Modern Australia is the focus at TarraWarra Museum of Art, a stunning building located in the scenic surrounds of the Yarra Valley wine region. Open only since 2003, TarraWarra emerged on the back of a superb private collection and has thrived ever since.
Book now: BIG4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park.
6. Benalla Art Gallery
Beat the winter chill with a visit to Benalla Art Gallery. This popular Victorian gallery has an almighty collection, and the works of big-name Australian artists – including Arthur Streeton, Sidney Nolan, and Frederick McCubbin – give it immense appeal. A quality assortment of indigenous art provides further reason to visit.
Book now: Nearby BIG4 Wangaratta North Cedars Holiday Park.
7. The Convent Gallery, Daylesford
The Convent Gallery in Daylesford highlights the region’s penchant for indulgence. This attraction is housed in a restored 19th-century Victorian mansion, and variable eye-catching art is spread over three levels. If the weather is kind, this vantage point provides spectacular views over Daylesford and surrounds that are as pretty as a picture.
8. Shepparton Art Museum
A 2011 redevelopment has increased the lure of the Shepparton Art Museum. Its crowning jewel is a huge Australian and international ceramics collection, which grabs much attention. Supporting this is captivating contemporary art among many other pleasing finds.
Book now: BIG4 Shepparton Park Lane Holiday Park.
9. Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
This coastal region is peppered with alluring galleries, led by Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. If the weather is preventing you from witnessing the region’s beauty firsthand, this attraction offers a fine alternative. There is a pronounced local focus where works allow you to admire the peninsula’s endless beauty through the eyes of revered artists.
Book now: BIG4 Mornington Peninsula Holiday Park.
10. Hamilton Gallery
Highly regarded for its fine and decorative arts collection, Hamilton Gallery is a must-visit attraction in the Grampians region. Striking silver and glass objects form part of this internationally important collection, and elsewhere a solid assortment of Australian paintings can be admired.
Book now: Nearby BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park.
11. Geelong Gallery
If Mother Nature is giving this city a hard time, a stroll through Geelong Gallery will lift the spirits. A plethora of visual delights are housed in this grand historical building; and spacious viewing areas brilliantly showcase the diverse collection. Don’t miss iconic works of local sights that have been captured by renowned artists.
12. Warrnambool Art Gallery
Diversity is a feature of the Warrnambool Art Gallery, which has a history dating to 1886. The various artistic styles and extensive time period of its works ensure it’s a gallery with widespread appeal.
Is your favourite gallery on this list? Or have we overlooked a gem? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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