Even if your not that into art, a day at the National Gallery of Victoria is a rewarding experience. With free entry, you have nothing to lose but you may get a greater appreciation of art in it’s many forms.

I personally am not by nature an arty type, sadly my drawing talent is limited to stick figures, yet as an amateur photographer, I find the artworks on display fascinating. The huge talent artists had before the days of cameras are evident by the fine detail in paintings, making such life like pictures with magnificent colours that are so amazingly alive, yet some are hundreds of years old. One thing I like about the NGV is the fabulous collection of statues and artifacts they have on display, some dating back before Christ, some 2000 years old. Many artifacts from China are so ancient, yet unbelievably well preserved, they are wonderful to see.

Paintings on display include works from all the masters, such as Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Drysdale, El Greco, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso, just to name a few. You can wander the halls as you like or take guided tours where your escorts will explain the finer points and show you the more important pieces in the exhibition.

The National Gallery of Victoria has also just opened a new hall displaying Photography. On my last visit to Melbourne, I was one day too early and the photography section was being officially opened the day after my visit. Now I really have a reason to go back again.

If you are visiting Melbourne, put the National Gallery of Victoria on your “To Do” list. It is full of wonderful paintings, artefacts and sculptures. Plan for a least half a day or longer. There is a cafe for morning tea or lunch and a well stocked gift shop. It’s easy to get to, just down St Kilda Road, past Flinders Street Station and a short walk from Southbank. There is something to see for everyone, even for us non art lovers.

National Gallery of Victoria
180 St Kilda Road,
Closed Tuesdays