Welcome to French Island


The island served as a penal settlement for prisoners serving out their final years from 1916. You can still visit the original prison farm, however the property was sold early 2017, so check to see if it's still open to tourists.

The French Island Community Association (www.frenchislandinfo.com) has good info on the island.


Top experiences in French Island

Travel guides

Starting at $38.99

Image for

French Island activities

$35.42 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Phillip Island Twilight Cruise

Make your way to Cowes Jetty in the late afternoon to board your spacious 62-foot (19-meter) catamaran for your twilight cruise. Set out on Western Port Bay as your captain shares commentary about key sights that you pass, including the navy submarine HMAS Otama that sits off of Crib Point. Keep an eye out for wildlife including Australian fur seals, dolphins and seabirds. You might see short-tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) as they return to their burrows on French Island after a day of feeding at sea. These humble birds complete an extraordinary annual migration that goes from Australia to Japan, Siberia, Alaska, down the coast of North America to California, then across the Pacific Ocean to return to Australia. As the sun begins to set, take in the glow of the red and orange sky reflecting on the water and watch the lights come up in towns around the bay. During the cruise you can nibble on complimentary hot and cold appetizers that are passed on trays and perhaps purchase a drink from the full bar.Your sunset cruise wraps up upon your return to Cowes Jetty at the end of your 90-minute tour. Nearby, you can find plenty of dining options that you might like to check out afterwards at your leisure.

$132.81 Tours & Sightseeing

Half Day Phillip Island and Surrounds Tour

You are picked up from your accommodation on Phillip Island and San Remo at around 11.00 am and we drive to the Nobbies  and enjoy walk around the boardwalk to the blow hole and back, hopefully sighting penguins in their burrows and other wildlife. After this we drive along the cliff coast line to Summerland Beach and head to a very comfortable cafe/restaurant for lunch including a glass of wine or beer. After your hearty lunch we drive to different location son Phillip island and the bass Coast hinterland where you will view beautiful surf beaches, views of Phillip Island and French Island. We stop at a local winery and brewery for some wine and beer tasting . What a big and wonderful day you will have had. As an extra you can add the penguins into your tour at an extra charge and also pick you up and return you back to your Melbourne accommodation for an extra charge as well.

$110.68 Tours & Sightseeing

Half Day Phillip Island and Penguins Tour

You are picked up from your Phillip Island and San Remo accommodation at around 11.00am and we drive to the Nobbies and visit the Antarctic Journey Experience and walk around the Nobbies boardwalk, hopefully sighting penguins in their burrows, wallabies and Cape Baron geese. After this,  we drive along the cliff coast line to Summerland Beach, and head to the Churchill Island Heritage Farm to see the sheep sheering, the sheep dog rounding up the sheep, whip cracking and more. We leave Churchill Island and take a drive through the Bass coast hinterland where you will have fantastic views of Phillip Island, French Island, south coast and Western Port Bay and then drive back to Phillip Island, visiting the famous surf beaches and the Koala Conservation Centre where you will enjoy seeing koalas in their natural habitat. On the way to the penguins we take the road to see the Rhyll village and then you will be dropped to see the amazing little penguin waddle in their burrows. You will be picked up from the penguins and taken back to your Phillip Island accommodation. (If you want to be picked up from Melbourne and returned to Melbourne after the penguins an extra charge applies.) What a big and wonderful day you will have had.   

$232.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Diego Suarez Day Tour of Antsiranana the Amber Mountains and the 3 Emerald Bays

"Diego" is the northern-most post of Madagascar, the landing point for the allied invasions of the islands during WWII and the stocking point for the entire Russian Imperial Navy during their war with Japan. Full of history and with a Portugese name on a French island invaded and possessed by no less than 7 different nations, it is also the launchpoint into the beautiful Emerald Bay resort setting of Mada, as well as the majestic Amber Mountains National Park, We start are tour around the historic and cultural center, and next head to the Emerald Bay by boat as well as the 2 other most scenic inlets and bays of the peninsula, and finally to the Amber Mountains by car again. the Montagne D'Ambre Park is also one of the most biologically diverse places in all of Madagascar; 75 species of birds, 25 species of mammals, and 59 species of reptiles are known to inhabit the park, where you can see several species. In the evening, return to your chosen hotel.

French Island in detail