A Digital Escape With These 5 Virtual Tours

We’ve collected a few of the best virtual tours happening right now across architecture, art and technology in Australia and New Zealand.

And Now installation at White Rabbit Gallery

While COVID-19 hasn’t brought much great news, it has at least sped up the adoption of virtual tours, exhibitions and events. And while Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland residents currently in lockdown may be frustrated with an inability to do pretty much anything communal right now, at least that social and event-shaped hole in our hearts can be filled with a plethora of online discovery. 

Greg Burgess Studio & Walsh Street Boyd House (Melbourne)

The Robin Boyd Foundation is producing a whole lot of great virtual reality tours at the moment. Currently you’re able to discover the Greg Burgess Studio in Richmond and the Walsh Street Boyd House in South Yarra, but keep an eye out for a series of Robin Boyd designed houses, including Manning Clark House in Canberra. 

Virtual view of Manning Clark House

The Greg Burgess Studio virtual reality tour lets you take a peek into the former bronze foundry at 10 York St in industrial Richmond. The tour incorporates video interviews with Greg Burgess filmed in the 10 York St studio, alongside small facts, such as the history and origin of the artwork throughout the workshop. Little easter eggs, such as where Greg Burgess’ RAIA Gold Medal is kept pop up around the tour.

A video pop up in the Greg Burgess Studio virtual tour

Similarly, the Walsh Street Boyd House virtual reality tour lets you move around the South Yarra house and find out more about both architectural and personal features of the home.

A video pop up in the Walsh Street virtual tour

Garden Aotearoa, Ars Electronica Festival 2021 (New Zealand)

Garden Aotearoa is on right now as part of the international Ars Electronica 2021 festival. Taking place in 80 locations around the globe, the event truly transcends location. “Ars Electronica Garden Aotearoa explores how the digital world connects with the physical world,” says Associate Professor Uwe Rieger, director of the University of Auckland’s arc/sec Lab for Cyber-Physical Architecture and Interactive Systems and one of the event’s key organisers.

The festival includes a Cyber Gallery that allows visitors to interact with each other and the installations. It also features Lightsense, an interactive XR installation by the arc/sec Lab for Cyber-Physical Architecture and Interactive Systems. Lightsense AI has learnt thousands of poems, allowing it to communicate and start conversations with the audience.

Lightsense at Garden Aotearoa

Lightsense at Garden Aotearoa

White Rabbit Gallery (Sydney)

See how the gallery is transformed as you move through virtual tours of Sydney’s White Rabbit Gallery’s last five exhibitions. Discover the Chippendale gallery’s Supernatural (2018-2019) exhibition, contrasting ancient Chinese art where painters displayed images of pristine rivers and mist-shrouded mountains with visions of now and the future where skies are choked with smog and rivers are polluted. More recent exhibitions Then (2019-2020) and And Now (2020-2021) are also available to explore.

Supernatural exhibition at White Rabbit Gallery

Then exhibition at White Rabbit Gallery

And Now exhibition at White Rabbit Gallery

Auckland Art Gallery

The Auckland Art Gallery lets you virtually walk through two exhibitions. Choose between different tour experiences, including a family tour, a curator’s highlight tour, an in-depth exhibition experience with extended information. The Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan virtual tour is an exhibition that, for the first time, shows New Zealand paintings created by masters of the floating world from the Edo era. 

Virtual tour of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan, courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Virtual tour of Enchanted Worlds: Hokusai, Hiroshige and the Art of Edo Japan, courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art virtual tour is the largest exhibition in the 132-year history of Auckland Art gallery with over 300 artworks by 110 Māori artists.

Virtual tour of Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Virtual tour of Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

QAGOMA (Brisbane)

A range of exhibitions at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art QAGOMA. Wander through I, object, an exhibition exploring the complex and varying relationships that Indigenous Australians have to cultural objects, or discover Work Work Work, an exhibition that brings together artworks from across the globe that explore ideas of labour.