An Outback Vacation? Lost Australian Woman Survives 5 Days on Wine

With just a few more provisions, Lillian Ip might have managed just fine during her five days stranded in the wilderness.

If the 48-year-old had brought a jug of water, a bit of food — and maybe some more wine — she could have had a nice week. Tragically, she only had one bottle of wine to help her survive nearly a week alone in a remote part of Australia.

“The first thing coming in my mind, I was thinking ‘water and a cigarette,'” Ip told 9News Australia. “Thank god the policewoman had a cigarette.”

The Melbourne resident was on holiday in Bright, Victoria, when she started driving toward Lake Dartmouth. Along the way, she hit a dead-end after taking a wrong turn, tried to turn around, and ended up with her wheels stuck in the mud.

The nearest town required a 60km walk, which Ip couldn’t manage due to health issues, the BBC reported. She had no provisions except for some sweets and a bottle of wine meant as a present for a friend.

“I felt that I was gonna die there,” said Ip, who wrote a farewell letter to family the day before her rescue. “My whole body shut down.”

While no doubt a scary experience, Ip managed to retain her sense of humor when authorities finally rescued her on Friday.

When asked about the taste of the wine (Ip doesn’t drink alcohol), she responded: “s***.”

She was close to giving up when she finally heard the sound of police. Australian law enforcement told the BBC that Ip made the right choice staying close to the car, where authorities could find her.

“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,” Wodonga Police Station Sergeant Martin Torpey said.

Ip was taken to a hospital for dehydration, but has already returned home to Melbourne.

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.