Woman Survives Five Days In The Australian Wilderness By Eating Lollipops And Drinking Wine

Published May 8, 2023
Updated February 27, 2024

Lillian Ip was heading to a popular tourist destination in Victoria, Australia when she became lost, forcing her to eat lollipops and drink wine to survive before rescue crews finally spotted her.

Lillian Ip

Victoria Police/Twitter Victoria Police’s airborne search and rescue mission paid off after several days when they finally spotted Lillian Ip on the ground.

The Victoria Police rescued a woman in the remote Australian wilderness after she spent five days lost and stranded with only lollipops and a bottle of wine to survive.

The 48-year-old woman, identified as Lillian Ip, was traveling through the Australian Mitta Mitta bushland to get to Dartmouth Dam, the largest dam in the region and a popular tourist destination. After taking a wrong turn, Ip reached a dead-end street and attempted to turn around. Unfortunately, her car became stuck.

With no cell phone service, Ip was at the mercy of the Australian wild.

After a few days of not hearing from Ip, her family and friends worried for her wellbeing and decided to call the Victoria Police. Immediately, the police department began an aerial search of the area looking for the missing woman. Thankfully, their search was fruitful.

In footage posted to the Victoria Police’s Twitter, the aerial search and rescue crew spotted Ip’s car and then Ip herself. Footage shows Ip smiling and lifting her hands toward the search and rescue crew.

“[We found] Lillian a good 60 kilometers away from the nearest town, and due to health issues, she was unable to try and walk for help, so stayed with her car,” Wodonga Police Station Sergeant Martin Torpey said in a public statement about the rescue.

“She used great common sense to stay with her car and not wander off into bushland, which assisted in police being able to find her,” Sgt. Torpey continued.

Police officers soon drove to her location to pick her up. When officers arrived, Ip rejoiced at seeing them.

“After being lost in the bush for five days, she was extremely relieved and grateful to see us and we were just as happy to see her,” Sgt. Torpey stated.

When officers asked her what happened, Ip stated that she had only planned for a short day trip, packing light snacks and wine, but no water.

“The only liquid Lillian, who doesn’t drink, had with her was a bottle of wine she had bought as a gift for her mother so that got her through,” the police statement read.

Despite being stranded in the wilderness, Ip still had the protection of her car to shield her from the elements.

At this time of the year in Victoria, temperatures can reach the low 40s at night. To keep herself warm, Ip slept in her car with the heater on.

“I thought I was going to die there. My whole body shut down on Friday,” Ip told 9News Australia, according to the BBC. She added that she “was about to give up,” and even wrote a letter telling her family she loved them in case she didn’t survive.

Victoria Australia

Wikimedia CommonsA map showing Victoria, Australia’s smallest mainland state and the home of several national parks.

The Victoria wilderness is a rugged place that many hikers have found themselves unwittingly lost in over the years. Just last year, a 22-year-old woman became lost in Victoria’s Grampians National Park. She had set out to hike but became lost only hours into her journey, 7news reported.

The hiker contacted her mom to explain the situation, but her phone died soon after. As in Ip’s case, search and rescue crews immediately began looking for the lost woman.

Thankfully, after nearly 24 hours, police found her alive near a service road and reunited her with her family, bringing a happy end to her story as well.


After reading about Lillian Ip, the woman who survived on wine while missing in the Victoria wilderness, discover 11 other survival stories from around the world. Then, read about the man who survived off ketchup and seasonings for nearly a month while lost in the Caribbean.

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Amber Morgan
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Amber Morgan is an Editorial Fellow for All That's Interesting. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in political science, history, and Russian. Previously, she worked as a content creator for America House Kyiv, a Ukrainian organization focused on inspiring and engaging youth through cultural exchanges.
editor
John Kuroski
editor
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Morgan, Amber. "Woman Survives Five Days In The Australian Wilderness By Eating Lollipops And Drinking Wine." AllThatsInteresting.com, May 8, 2023, https://allthatsinteresting.com/lillian-ip. Accessed May 25, 2024.