Ralph Illidge Sanctuary

Ralph Illidge Sanctuary

The Ralph Illidge Sanctuary is a peaceful, relaxed and scenic reserve which is a safe haven for a variety of animals, flora and fauna.


Just 25 minutes drive east of Warrnambool, or less than an hour from Port Fairy, the sanctuary is easily found off the Warrnambool -Cobden Road.

Visitors are able to enjoy the native wildlife, many walking tracks, visit the information centre or have a picnic or barbecue (shelters, tables and gas barbecues are provided).

The reserve was donated to the Victorian Conservation Trust (now Trust for Nature) in 1975 by Ralph Illidge to ensure the long-term protection of the flora and fauna on the property. Additional land has been acquired and added to the reserve through public fund raising programs. The reserve was severely burnt during the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 but has regrown to now provide an important habitat for species such as the Potoroo, Powerful Owl, Rufous Bristlebird and White Goshawk.

Admission to the sanctuary costs just a gold coin donation. It is closed on days of Total Fire Ban.


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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.