This vibrant art gallery debut in 2003; it brings art and architecture together in one setting. Loved and/or loathed by locals, its flashy glass façade has become a city landmark. The building was designed by Melbourne architectural firm the Buchan Group. The large steel sculpture out front is "Reasons for Voyaging", a collaboration between local sculptor Graham Bennett and architect David Cole. During the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, it served as the Civil Defence headquarters. We love the gallery’s innovative approach to exhibiting contemporary art in unexpected places (along the corridor leading to the restrooms, for example). You’re never quite sure when you’ll come upon something wonderful. The gallery has regular exhibitions of leading national and international artists, and changing shows from its collection of more than 5,500 paintings, sculptures and drawings. Don’t forget to check the superb book and gift store and the adjacent, privately-run craft gallery.
- Frommer's Staff