In the heart of Westernport, French Island offers tranquil surroundings and pristine flora and fauna. With next to no traffic, thousands of koalas and plenty of history, it makes for a perfect day out. Book a bus tour, a horse ride or get closer to nature on the variety of walking and cycling tracks. Tour the Bayview Chicory Kiln, built in 1897, where kids can interact with friendly farm animals. Learn about prison life at the former McLeod Prison Farm or visit the GPO for some local produce and handcrafts.
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Introduced in the 1880s, koalas continue to thrive on the island. The varied landscape, including Saltmarsh, Mangroves, Heathland, Wetland, Native Grassland and Woodland, houses over 260 fauna species. There are over 230 bird species, 10 types of mammals, 12 types of reptiles and 10 types of frogs. Some species of significance include the fairy tern, king quail, long nosed potoroo, orange-bellied parrot, swamp skink, and the white-bellied sea eagle. If you are lucky you might even see an echidna!
Undeveloped and isolated, the island is home to over 580 species of Flora including 100 species of orchid.
In 1802, a French scientific expedition was first to set down on French Island, but it was not settled until 1847. Although twice the size of nearby Phillip island, its population is only about 60.