So. I've made it to Melbourne.
So far there's nothing about this city to mark it any different from the rest of the English speaking world, but I expected that; such is the nature of globalisation. And I've barely explored the place, just a few areas around the University. No killer spiders so far!
Also as I expected, I feel much happier to have finished my travelling without incident. Even with all the quarantine warnings, the Australian customs and immigration services were friendly (if a little slow). I flew through LAX, and was questioned more closely by the Americans just for that short trip. Of course, saying that immigration officials are nicer than the US is very much a low bar to pass; I had to pass through less security to enter a UK naval base than to enter the US!
The one big shock has been the prices here, which are pretty high. Also, there's one obvious thing that marks being in a different country, the money. The Australian 2 dollar coin is one of the smallest, which is just weird (compare the Canadian toonie or the UK two pound coin). But in all, I am feeling optimistic about the next year or three I'll be spending here.