Tasmania and MONA: is eating dinner at FARO a can't miss? Other ideas?
April 29, 2023 11:36 AM   Subscribe

I have wanted to go to MONA since reading about it 10 (!) years ago, and am planning to add Tasmania on to a Melbourne work trip in late August. Scheduling-wise, I'm planning on arriving in Hobart from New Jersey on a Saturday. Do I fight jet lag with a full day at MONA+Faro dinner on Sunday, or can I take a day to more casually sightsee? I think this is my one shot at Tasmania this lifetime...

I love museums (though I haven't spent all day at one before, I think) and I like fancy dining, but I thought if I did a Sunday trip (Bruny Island? Maria Island?) I could get more acclimated to the time change. But the MONA-Faro restaurant only offers dinner service on Sunday during my visit, and there seems to be **so** much to see at MONA that I'm not sure I want a long lunch at Faro on a Monday visit to take away from that.

I'm assuming there is away to get back to Hobart after dinner, even though the museum ferry/bus will be unavailable.

I have to start work Tuesday afternoon in Melbourne.

How long have your visits to MONA taken? How special is the Faro experience or lunch or dinner? Favorite day trip from Hobart? Any advice much appreciated, I haven't been to Australia/Melbourne since 2008 which is a lifetime ago.
posted by armacy to Travel & Transportation around Australia (5 answers total)
MONA has been a full day both times I've gone. I would personally want something less demanding than MONA when I'm jetlagged, but jetlag hits me pretty hard. MONA isn't super physically demanding - it's compact and there are plenty of spaces where you're meant to sit for awhile to take in the art, but I find it easy to get overstimulated there. Lunch at Faro was a very welcome break in my visit when I was there a few years ago. So I'd be inclined toward a Monday visit, myself.

Since jetlag is such a struggle for me, I'd be inclined to spend my first day in Hobart itself - it's got a charming waterfront, a couple good small museums, and quite a good food scene. But there are a lot of day trip options, and I haven't done any of them. I'm sure others will be along with suggestions there. Whatever you pick, I'm sure it will be a great visit!
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:30 PM on April 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

I spent a full day at Mona but did not dine at Faro. There are plenty of other dining options there, and my travel companion and I arrived and departed on the Mona Roma. Admittedly it was one of my favourite parts, and is definitely part of the curated experience. It’s a short trip so I don’t think the Posh Pit is worth it. If you’re not interested in taking the ferry, Uber will get you there. Getting back may be a bit more challenging.

Hobart is a neat city but if you’re keen to get out of the city you may consider letting a tour guide operator so you don’t have to worry about jet lag while driving on the other side of the road.
posted by Juniper Toast at 9:42 PM on April 29, 2023

Best answer: I agree with EvaDestruction. You will probably still be too jet lagged on Sunday to get the most from a full museum day + dinner experience. Not impossible, but also depends on how much sleep you get on your trans-pacific flight. Coming from the East Coast US to Melbourne to Hobart will be quite a few legs. I find my jet lag is worse when I don't get enough sleep in-flight.

Could you possibly do dinner at Faro on Sunday, and then come back for the museum experience on Monday? Or do Faro for lunch instead? The jetlag is such that you will start wilting around 4:00pm the first couple of days, and probably feel a strong need to sleep by 8pm, if not earlier.

I didn't find our day at MONA overly taxing, but it was crowded and so we didn't spend a lot of time looking at every single thing. We were a bit more selective about certain parts of the museum. We ate a fancy lunch at the Source restaurant on site, so I don't have any experience with Faro or dinner there.
posted by amusebuche at 10:11 PM on April 29, 2023

Best answer: I've eaten at Faro twice and both times it was good, not amazing. Unlike MONA, it is a can-miss. However, if on the day you have energy and Faro has availability, then go for it; you will have a nice time. If not, Hobart has plenty of great food (although everywhere tends to close early).
posted by cogat at 6:15 PM on May 1, 2023

Response by poster: Many thanks! Thanks to your comments, I'm going to arrive a day earlier which will allow me to spend (slightly) more time to see Hobart and have the option to do dinner at Faro. Really wish I could spend a week.
posted by armacy at 8:14 PM on May 7, 2023

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