French Island is situated within Western Port and can only be accessed by public ferry or private boat. Approximately 70% of the island was declared a National Park in 1997.
Prior to European settlement, the island was used by the Bunurong people as a hunting ground. It was named by French scientific explorers in 1802 when they circumnavigated it. Today it is home to approximately 100 people, one of Victoria’s largest koala populations and a large selection of native wildlife. The human residents must be largely self-sufficient as there is no network of power or water reticulation.
Visitors can access French Island via the ferry service that operates daily services from Stony Point. (For schedule information, visit www.westernportferries.com.au ). The ferry does not take cars but vehicles may be left in the Stony Point car park. Bicycles may be taken onboard the ferry or hired on the island. There is also currently a company operating part day tours on the island.