French Island is something of a secret paradise. A place of peace and serenity with a backdrop of native bushland and stunning views. With abundant wildlife and birds, French Island is the place to go when you really want to get away from it all.
Accessible only by passenger ferry, the best way to explore the island is by bike or on foot. The island is equipped with a licensed general store, local visitor information centre and bike-hire.
French Island hosts a National Park which covers about two-thirds of the island. See chicory kilns, spot a koala or long-nosed potoroo or simply enjoy the serenity. Being Victoria's largest coastal island, French Island has diverse range of environments including mangrove saltmarsh and open woodlands. In spring the native vegetation is a blaze of colour. There are over 580 indigenous species, including over 100 orchid species.
Walking and cycling tracks range from whole day and half day to shorter options and start from the Tankerton Foreshore Reserve. These tracks are your entry to wetlands, koala colonies and endless bird-watching.
The passenger ferry leaves daily from Stony Point and Cowes on Phillip Island to Tankerton Jetty.
French Island, located in the middle of Western Port, is considered the jewel in the crown of the Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve.
It is the largest island in the bay, approximately 170 square kilometres in area and reaching a maximum height of 96 metres above seal level at Mt Wellington, near its centre.
Due to its isolation, history and the work of conservationists over the last 40 years, French Island remains a relatively undisturbed environment, less than 70km from the heart of the thriving city of Melbourne.
French Island is an unincorporated territory with no local government. Instead, the community manages its own affairs as well as some public facilities. This website has been developed to make it easier for new and established residents to access information about the regulations that govern French Island, the committee which manages local affairs and the facilities that are available.
French Island National Park
French Island National Park is a true paradise. Accessible only by a 30 minute passenger ferry ride, French Island is a haven of peace and serenity, home to a diverse range of wildlife and containing environments ranging from mangrove saltmarsh areas to open woodlands.
Explore the park at leisure by bus, bike or on foot, using the network of public roads and management tracks. There are whole day, half day and shorter walks and rides starting at Tankerton Foreshore Reserve.
Before you go
Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
Passenger ferry leaves daily from Stony Point and Cowes on Phillip Island to Tankerton Jetty.
French Island General Store Courtesy Bus
The French Island General Store's 12 seater courtesy bus offers transfers from the barge or ferry when booked with a lunch or bike hire.
+61 3 5980 1209
Discover the untouched wilderness of French Island with Naturaliste Tours.
+61 3 5257 4570
Westernport Ferries Crib Point
Westernport Ferries provide a passenger ferry service between Cowes, Stony Point and Tankerton on French Island.
+61 3 5257 4565
❊ Web Links ❊
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