French Island National Park is located in Western Port, just off the Mornington Peninsula.
Heathlands and open woodlands provide a home for wildlife, such as the Long-nosed Potaroo and Victoria’s most significant koala population. Critically endangered Eastern-barred Bandicoots have also been released into the bushland of the island. French Island has more than 580 indigenous plant species, including over 100 native orchid species. Over 230 bird species have been recorded on French Island, including rare birds such as the White-Bellied Sea-Eagle, King Quail, and the Orange-Bellied Parrot, as well as 33 species of waders that forage along the coast at low tide.
In the mud-flats, shell-fish, crabs, worms and other small animals provide rich pickings for ibis, herons and egrets. You may also see migratory waders, such as the Eastern Curlew, feeding on Ghost Shrimps and crabs, while the tiny Red-necked Stint searches nearby for worms and small crustaceans.
Plan a day trip to enjoy the short, half or whole-day walks from Tankerton Foreshore Reserve. Discover the island habitats by bushwalking through heathland and woodland along the 5km Old Coast Road walking track. The West Coast Wetlands Walk (9.6km) climbs to the Pinnacles at 60m above sea level, offering expansive views of Phillip Island, Western Port and the wetlands. Explore French Island with your mountain bike via the roads and cycleways, from the shorter Redbill Manna Gum Woodland Ride (8km) to the full-day Gartsides Ride (24km).
If you need longer to explore, set up a beachside base camp at the Fairhaven Campground, 5km from the jetty.