Early start for a lift to the station on a rainy bonfire day. There may not be a formal midwinter festival in the southern hemisphere, but that doesn't stop it happening.

My plan for the day is to see the Muslim Cameleer exhibition at Melbourne's Immigration Museum, and I arrive at about opening time after carefully slicing my finger open while repacking at left luggage.

The exhibition is brief and to the point. It starts with a selection of "Certificates of Exemption from Dictation Test" which paint an interesting portrait, both of the men and of the personality of White Australia. The dictation test was a means for immigration officers to deny applicants entry to Australia. Granting the cameleers' exemption from this show how important they were to the Australian economy.

They turned up initially in the mid 1800s, to provide a means of supply to remote towns and stations, and help drive stock. The sums invested in bringing them and their mounts from modern day Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan were colossal, but so were their contributions to Australia. They were instrumental in some of the early expeditions including Burke and Wills, and most famously the construction of the Ghan railway from Adelaide to Alice Springs.

Weather's starting to happen as I tramp to Federation Square, which has Culture and Dangling Art. However I'm not partaking in the Culture. I head to the internet instead for a brief communication with the Outside World. And from there to the airport via the Southern Cross bus dungeon.

I've made the mistake of booking a flight during civilised hours, and the place is packed. The plane also has unannounced lateness, but we're soon on our way to New Zealand. It's a full flight, and my neighbour turns out to have the World's Largest Elbows.

Auckland welcomes visitors with gurt big carved wooden archway instead of a quarantine dungeon. It turns out to be slightly quicker to get in as an Australian than as a Briton, so I become Australian for the rest of my holiday.

Now, I'm not saying I've got catching up to do, but my accommodation for my first night in Auckland is the Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery. It's a brewpub which - judging by the suitably misanthropic manager's description - hasn't done very well in recent years but still refuses to die. Quite fitting then that it's showing the Lost Boys. The brew turns out to be excellent, and I decide that I'm actually still jetlagged as I stay up sampling the wares and watching New Zealand's excellent World Cup performance against Italy.

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