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Culture and heritage

In 1856 the property of Lara, which included the area now occupied by Serendip, was sold by the Crown at auction to Robert De Little from Launceston. Since then, the property has been re-sold numerous times and used for everything from farming and sheep studs to a health resort (from 1907 to 1930). It was utilised as a research station for waterfowl and other native animals by the then Fisheries and Wildlife Department. A bird banding program for ducks conducted by Fisheries and Wildlife was so successful that, in 1959, the state repurchased the property with a view to further developing the site as a Wildlife Research Station.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s gradual changes were made to the property by the Fisheries and Wildlife Division to accommodate the needs of wildlife and its research. In 1987, the government decided to re-develop the property into a wetlands education centre, with the aim of bringing the wetlands and wildlife of the Western Plains to the people.

The re-developments included the construction of an information centre, re-furbishment of existing buildings and the display pond, creation of walking trails, building of bird hides and covered walkways, marshland construction and installation of displays and educational material.

Serendip Sanctuary, opened to the public in 1991, is now managed by Parks Victoria and receives support from The Alcoa Landcare Project and Friends groups.