I spent a marvellous, peaceful Sunday morning here browsing around and enjoying everything. Although there were a lot of visitors, its spacious galleries mean you never feel over-crowded. Entry is free, unless you want to see a special exhibition. I saw a special one and it was fantastic. Only $20 entry fee to see several famous, wonderful works - great value. The staff are mindful of the contemplative atmosphere here too so even the guides speak in appropriately low tones. You will see pieces by Australia's most noteworthy artists - fantastic.
The word that comes to mind when reviewing this location is 'pretentious'. Don't dare to even think about getting a photo of anything inside here, because the burly security guards will yell at you to stop. Of course if you want to find something in the gallery then they're not so happy to intervene. Although entry to the gallery is free, the special exhibitions are exorbitantly priced and their shop is full of more pretentious materials at pretentious prices.
After being yelled at and ignored we made our way to the kids area of the gallery. Their idea of a kids area was a colouring in table with 3 lead pencils. Wow.
Gave it 2 *'s because there was enough there to entertain me for about an hour, especially a Ned Kelly exhibition (one of the areas that actually had interesting information for 'normal people', not pretentious ones).
I recently visited the gallery for the Renaissance exhibition. From the moment we arrived we were impressed. Parking was free, there was easy lift access from the car park, and I was greeted by a smiling helpful staff member as I walked in the doors. After being guided up the escalator to the next level it couldn't be more simple to purchase a self guiding audio tour. There was also the option of going on a tour with a guide..... who just happened to be the same woman who had taken my tour guide the day before at the War Memorial! She is definitely someone I would like to have on my Trivial Pursuit team!
Although I am not a huge art buff, I found the exhibition to be absolutely stunning. Having the audio tour as well made the experience all the more informative and interesting.
I wasn't able to spend more time at the gallery to explore the other art works, but I will definitely go back one day.