Fans of last year’s 100 Great Things To Do In Australia You’ve Never Heard Of will be familiar with this little guy’s close cousin, the Gilbert’s Potoroo, now it’s the Woylie’s turn to hog the spotlight.

Fans of last year’s 100 Great Things To Do In Australia You’ve Never Heard Of will be familiar with this little guy’s close cousin, the Gilbert’s Potoroo from Two Peoples Bay in southwest WA. Well, now it’s the Woylie’s turn to hog the spotlight.

Also known as the Brush-tailed Bettong, they’re lightning fast, can jump incredibly high for such a tiny creature and have a cute, curly, prehensile tail for carrying grass and other nesting materials. They once roamed across almost two-thirds of Australia but by 1920 were all but extinct thanks to, we want to say foxes and the like, but let’s face it: it’s humans. Thankfully, it’s also humans that are leading the conservation charge, with the Karakamia Sanctuary 50km northeast of Perth providing a protected home.

There’s only one place in the world where you can have a slumber party with a Woylie, though, and that’s at Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat near Margaret River. Owners Simon and Joy Ensor also look after in their conservation sanctuary kangaroos, bandicoots, brush- and ring-tailed possums, blue tongue lizards and about 50 species of birds (reintroducing wallabies, echidnas and quokkas to the area is next on the list).

Joy reports that their Woylies’ favourite food is truffles (expensive tastes!) and what’s more the entire conservation program at Yelverton is funded by guest night’s fees. What more worthy way could there be to enjoy a relaxing spa?

Where // In tiny reintroduced populations in WA and SA, the most noteworthy being Karakamia Sanctuary northeast of Perth, and at Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat in WA’s Margaret River region. (08) 97 557579, www.yelvertonbrook.com.au

Did you know? // Along with the Woylie – in fact its close cousin – the Burrowing Bettong (or Boodie) was once the most common and populous macropod mammal (kangaroo family) in Australia. Now it’s found only in Shark Bay and on a couple of offshore islands.

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