Arts & Culture

Best Small Museums in Australia

Thanks to gambler cum art collector cum winery boss David Walsh, the Museum of Old and New Art on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart has single-handedly thrust Tasmania, if not Australia, in a new kind of media glare (The New Yorker, for one, just did a huge profile on Walsh and his flashy museum last week). But hype aside, the MONA is far from the only worthwhile museum Down Under. While avid fans of all-stars like the Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria and National Museum of Australia, from time to time we like to focus on more diminutive depots of culture. Take these ten terrific small museums across Australia, for example.

Fremantle Prison, WA – Photo credit

Monash University Museum of Art
900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East, VIC

A wee gem of a university museum and just 14 km from Melbourne’s CBD.

Where to stay: Art Series The Blackman Hotel Melbourne

Melbourne City Guide

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery
2 Wellington Street, Launceston, TAS

Tasmania’s second city will probably never conjure up a MONA but nobody can take away the fact that the QVMAG is the foremost museum in Australia in a non-capital city.

Where to stay: Clarion Hotel City Park Grand Launceston

Launceston City Guide

Tweed River Regional Museum
230 Kennedy Drive, Tweed Heads West, NSW

Skip Surfers Paradise for a spell and discover Tweed Heads’ delightful regional museum just outside the Gold Coast.

Where to stay: Tweed Ultima Apartments

Gold Coast City Guide

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
First Street, Booragul, NSW

Visitors to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley may be spoilt for choice but the sharp little Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery in Booragul is must-see fare.

Where to stay: Quality Hotel Apollo International Newcastle

Newcastle City Guide

Bendigo Art Gallery
42 View Street, Bendigo, VIC

Over in Bendigo, a beautiful art gallery unfurls close to a century and a half of history.

Where to stay: Quality Inn Colonial Bendigo

Bendigo City Guide

Fremantle Prison
1 The Terrace, Fremantle, WA

Fremantle is a quasi-museum in and of itself, with historic architecture and landmarks galore. Fremantle Prison, however, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.

Where to stay: Pier 21 Apartment Hotel

Perth City Guide

Old Gippstown
Moe, VIC

The open air pioneer museum of Old Gippstown is a genuine step back in time that is well worth the 135 km trip from Melbourne.

Where to stay: Comfort Inn Moe

Gippsland Guide

Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art
55 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA

Adelaide has a trove of fine museums, with the University of South Australia’s Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art a significant member of city’s cultural cognoscenti.

Where to stay: The Majestic Roof Garden Hotel Adelaide

Adelaide City Guide

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
Warrnambool, VIC

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is proof that you need to take your time on the Great Ocean Road.

Where to stay: Gallery Apartments Warrnambool

Warrnambool City Guide

University of Queensland Art Museum
James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD

Another city, another fine university museum. The art museum at the U of Q compels Brisbane visitors to save time for the inner suburb of St Lucia.

Where to stay: Spicers Balfour Hotel Brisbane

Brisbane City Guide

What is your favourite small museum in Australia? Drop us a comment below.

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