Friday, 12th October – Melbourne

Another beautiful, bright and sunny day.

We started off by visiting the Immigration Museum, which proved to be both interesting and thought-provoking. Australia has veered between every extreme of racial tolerance in its relatively short history, and some of the stories were pretty harrowing. The focus was on the state of Victoria, of course, and it has been a highly complex and rapidly changing picture, in which Britain has been well and truly involved. I certainly have vague memories of the \”£10 Pom\”, which really only came to an end in the early 1970s, to my surprise.

Victoria is proud of its multicultural ethos, but I do get the impression that, as in so many other places around the world, there is a racist undercurrent, particularly amongst the elder generations.

Next was a longish walk through a number of gardens, the ultimate destination being the Royal Botanic Gardens. All very nice and pleasant given the lovely weather, and a lighter atmosphere after the rather gloomy Immigration Museum. This is the ornamental lake, which is the centrepiece of the Botanic Gardens.

Walked back to the hotel to prepare for tomorrow\’s flight to Hobart, prior to 10 days or so in Tasmania. Next stage of our adventure upcoming!

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