If you want to spy on Oz’s creatures great and small, here are the places to go, and the YHA to stay in…

1) Kangaroo Island YHA, a few hours south of Adelaide, for kangaroos, penguins, sea lions, echidnas and goannas.

2) Port Lincoln YHA for Great White Shark, blue fin tuna and sea lions.

3) Phillip Island YHA for the island’s famous Penguin Parade, Australian fur seals and the Koala Conservation Centre.

4) Grampians Eco YHA in Halls Gap in the Grampian National Park. For kangaroos, wallabies, emu, possums and sugar gliders.

5) Port Stephens YHA for koalas, dolphins and whales.

6) Pittwater YHA 30km north of Sydney in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Home to possums, wallabies, goanna and kookaburras.

7) Hervey Bay YHA. For Fraser Island’s native birds, dingo and humpback whales.

8) Magnetic Island YHA, for koala, pythons, lizards and crocodile as well as dolphins, turtles, coral reef fish and sea eagles.

9) Cairns Central YHA, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree rainforest and its crocodiles and maybe a cassowary, the Atherton Tablelands for platypus tree kangaroos.

10) Darwin YHA to explore the Kakadu National Park, for native bird species, crocodiles and other native fauna.

The YHA also offers a plug for its new Fremantle Prison YHA, opening soon, and a base for visiting Rottnest Island and quokkas – cute marsupials similar to a small wallaby.