Exposed, windswept and wonderfully isolated, French Island is two-thirds national park and it retains a real sense of tranquillity – you can only get here by passenger ferry, so it’s virtually traffic-free, plus it's off the grid with no mains water or electricity! Here folk use tank water, generators or solar. The main attractions are bushwalking and cycling, taking in wetlands, checking out one of Australia’s largest koala colonies and observing a huge variety of birds and wild orchids.
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.