About the listing
Ralph Illidge, a photographer from Warrnambool, acquired this 40 hectares property in 1958. In 1975, to make sure that the property remained in its natural state, he donated the property (Bimbimbi, which is Aboriginal for "place of many birds") to the former Victorian Conservation Trust (now Trust for Nature).
Ralph Illidge passed away on 11 April, 1975. It is the hope of the Trust that, through this Sanctuary, visitors will come to understand the foresight of the man who made it possible. Ralph Illidge Sanctuary contains, in addition to the native flora of the area, such rare wildlife species as the Long nosed Potoroo, the Powerful Owl, the Rufous Bristlebird and the White Goshawk. The Trust acquired a further 51 hectares (north of the Warrnambool-Cobden Road) in June 1987 which was added to the Sanctuary. The funds were raised by the Warrnambool Nature Reserves Society with contributions from foundations and the State Government.
The Illidge home was destroyed Ash Wednesday 1983 The Sanctuary was severely burnt during the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. Fire demolished the original house and outbuildings and severely damaged the native bush and vegetation.
The Sanctuary is managed by a voluntary Friends Group.