Discover French Island and Phillip Island on Western Port Bay

French Island

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Where some see nothing, others go find wonder!

For the intrepid and inspired. French island is a stark and asperous landscape that begs for the spirited explorers to come find the wonders big and small that this unique island has to offer.

A largely wild environment, your first steps on the island are greeted with a silent void laced with hidden adventures waiting to be discovered. With native and wild, flora and fauna co-existing with a tiny population of civilians, its up to the individual to chart a course and discover the undiscovered.

Escape the overwhelming sights, sounds and distractions of modern day life and explore the idyllic, unknown & untouched French Island in Victoria’s Western Port Bay.

So quiet it’s deafening is an apt description of this self sustained island twice the size of Phillip Island, 70 % National Park and located only 90mins from Melbourne CBD.

Swap the screens for the stunning scenery and watch out for the wonderful wildlife wandering the island. With one of the densest populations of Koalas in Australia, the myriad of wildlife that co exists within this natural & wild habitat is something rarely seen on this scale.

Perspective, insight & reverence are some of the resonating feelings after discovering this land before time.

Things to see & do.


Naturaliste Tours

Venture into unknown territory with Naturaliste Tours on French Island. Leave the comfort of modern conveniences and explore this isolated and rugged terrain in the comfort of our Australian-made 4WD OKA bus. With knowledgeable and insightful tour guides, you'll gain a sense of understanding and appreciation for this unique location. Tours depart from Stony Point, Mornington or Cowes, Phillip Island. Trust Naturaliste Tours for a truly authentic experience.

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French Island General Store

The quaint manual telephone exchange at the island's general store is a hub for locals and visitors. Enjoy a warm meal and chat with the locals or stock up on French Island Olive Oil, used by international chef Nobu Matsuhisa. You'll also find French Island Honey and locally made comfrey healing oil. Call ahead to arrange bike rental from $20 per day. Visit the island's only shop for a unique and authentic experience.

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Explore Australia Tours

Travelers now seek intimate experiences that move away from mass tourism. Explore Australia offers day tours from Melbourne, showcasing local providers and natural beauty, with a focus on local experiences. These tours are crafted to deliver a "local feel" with joy, sense of fun, and quality, offering a unique opportunity for travelers to connect with the people and discover hidden gems. Doing daily tours to French Island.

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Fairhaven Campground

Fairhaven Campground offers 10 campsites for up to 40 people, reachable by foot or bike via a 5km trail from Tankerton Jetty. Facilities include shared picnic tables, BBQs, cooking shelter, and toilets with tank water (must be treated before drinking). The campground is close to various bird and wildlife, walks, and cycle paths. Highlights include the Fairhaven Northern Beach walk, Pinnacles Lookout, Redbill Manna Gum Woodland Ride, and many bird species including Cape Barren Geese.

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French Island Vineyard

French Island Vineyard's historic estate offers a unique character to its wines due to its cool maritime climate, clean air, and sandstone soil. The vines are hand-picked at optimum ripeness, producing good yields and ripe fruit. Winemaker Peter Hatton bottles the wines on-site and uses minimal handling to preserve their flavors. The estate includes cellar door tasting, where visitors can taste the wine and enjoy a delicious wood-fired pizza and stunning bay views on the terrace.

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Mandalaye Park Estate

Nestled in Mandalaye Park, this 5-star property offers a chance to escape, relax and experience island life. Indulge in the comfort of two luxurious private dwellings, the Chicory cottage and Bell Tower suite, equipped with a kitchen, private bathroom and veranda. Explore the natural beauty and wildlife, like koalas, echidnas and birds, on the property. Hike through the park's many walking tracks or sit and read under the oak trees. Toast marshmallows in the moonlight and admire the brilliant night sky.

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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.