Where art thou? Australia’s greatest galleries and art attractions
Be captivated by a kaleidoscope of colour.
Art galleries are full of intrigue, providing not only visually stimulating experiences but thought-provoking ones, too. They’re dramatic and interesting; controversial even.
Whether peering at paintings or pottery or sculptures or ceramics, Australia’s wealth of awesome art spaces demands serious attention.
To help you embrace your cultural side with ease, we’ve put together this top-shelf collection of galleries, many with elements that allow them to stand out from the crowd.
MONA, Hobart, TAS
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) houses some of the most interesting and ‘out there’ displays to be found anywhere. While intrinsic, quirky, and at times downright baffling, more importantly this art is supremely compelling. It’s with good reason that this is not only one of Hobart’s biggest tourist attractions but among Australia’s best art galleries.
Visit when staying at…Hobart Airport Tourist Park.
Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, WA
It began with a generous donation of works almost 70 years ago, and now this leading Bunbury attraction has an almighty collection that ensures its worthy of A-class gallery status. Among the highlights of this two-storey setup is a 300-strong assortment of watercolours with a clear South West WA flavour.
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT
A collection of original works by famous watercolourist, Albert Namatjira, ensures this arts centre should be high on the itinerary for any Alice Springs visitor. A series of Albert’s magnificent creations are on display, as are those from his sons and grandchildren. These combine with impressive desert paintings and intricate sculptural examples that make for a rewarding visit.
Visit when staying at…BIG4 MacDonnell Range Holiday Park.
National Art Glass Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW
A collection of glass that’s world class. That’s the focus of this absorbing gallery, home to a whopping collection of glass art presented in a modern, intimate setting. It’s backed by the significant Margaret Carnegie Print Collection, which features works by some of Australia’s most revered artists, including Arthur Boyd.
Visit when staying at…BIG4 Wagga Wagga Holiday Park.
Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum, Blue Mountains, NSW
Retrace the life of respected artist, cartoonist, and writer, Norman Lindsay, in magnificent surrounds that include prized gardens created by Norm himself. Best known for his children’s book The Magic Pudding, Norman was a colourful and controversial figure. A visit here allows you to easily appreciate his diverse creative talents, as this is the residence Norman lived in until his death.
Visit when staying at…Ingenia Holidays Nepean River.
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
The grand façade of this leading gallery sets the tone for what’s inside: five levels of incredibly captivating art with more cultural diversity than you’d find on a New York subway. This 130-year-old attraction houses one of the largest galleries of Aboriginal art as well as works from across the globe.
Gold Coast City Gallery, QLD
This glittering gallery highlights that the Gold Coast is not all about sun, surf, and theme parks. Housed in The Arts Centre Gold Coast, the facility features a grand assortment of historical and contemporary works that brilliantly encapsulates the wonder of the local area. The gallery also hosts two renowned art competitions: The Gold Coast Art Prize and The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, which complement dozens of touring exhibitions.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Arguably the country’s leading art gallery, NGV is a gem. It’s actually two galleries within proximity to the other: NGV International presents a wealth of important, attention-grabbing creations from across the globe while the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia features the biggest collection of Australian art on the planet.
Art Gallery of Ballarat, VIC
One of the best regional galleries in Australia, this top-notch Ballarat attraction features walls that are adorned with a striking variety of works. The nation’s oldest regional gallery provides a tangible reminder of the wealth that flowed through these parts during the 1850s gold rush, so expect to witness works from some of Australia’s best-known artists.
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, VIC
Diversity is a key factor of this fascinating attraction. Heide showcases a broad offering of modern and contemporary art that includes works by the likes of Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan. It’s all backed by gorgeous gardens and an outdoor sculpture park that is packed with plenty of funky creations.
The Cedars, Hahndorf, SA
The name Sir Hans Heysen might not be familiar to you but the watercolour wonders of this iconic artist are likely to be. The late Hans is one of Australia’s most notable landscape artists, and The Cedars is his former home and studio. Wander around this beautifully preserved heritage home and peek at his studio to gain a great insight into how Hans was inspired to create his masterpieces.
Visit when staying at…BIG4 Hahndorf Resort.
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
This is one of Australia’s most exciting and important galleries, showcasing hundreds of the nation’s most famous and influential individuals. Songwriters to sportspeople and pollies to pop singers all feature in lifelike paintings and sculptures that can be viewed in a series of vibrant gallery spaces.
Have you been to any of these galleries and have a story to share about your experience? Or do you have a favourite art attraction that didn’t make this list? We’d love to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.
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Infographic sources: National Gallery of Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Financial Review.
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