French Island National Park


French Island National Park

French Island National Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Bunurong Peoples. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Bunurong Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country. 

French Island National Park has much to offer, including unspoiled natural bushland and walking along beaches, where your only companions are hundreds of wading birds. 

Experience wonderful walks and bike rides through a range of habitats. There are day, half day and shorter walks and rides starting at Tankerton Foreshore Reserve.

Things to do in the area

Fairhaven beach at French Island National Park

Fairhaven Campground

Fairhaven campground is located in the dunes behind the beach approximately 5km walk from the ferry terminal at Tankerton and 7.5km from the General Store.
Mum helps her young son as he jumps off a large piece of drift wood at West Cape Beach.


Walk white sandy beaches, swim in cool coastal waters or surf the wild waves of the Southern Ocean.
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
A husband and wife stop to take a photo of Masons Falls from the lookout.

Day trips

Pack the car and round up your family and friends. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, parks offer a variety of day trips close to Melbourne.

Wildlife and Nature

French Island supports a large population of the Long-nosed Potoroo, as well as containing the most significant population of koalas in Victoria. The koalas reproduce so successfully that they eat themselves out of house and home. Each year over 200 are transferred to reserves in other parts of Victoria.

Wetlands, mangroves and salt marshes provide spectacular habitat for water birds year round, including the soaring sea eagles. Over 230 bird species have been recorded, as well as 33 species of waders which 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. Some birds fly from breeding grounds in the Northern Hemisphere.


Tours in the area

Bushwalking, four-wheel driving, horse riding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking are just some of the many activities you can experience in Victoria's parks.

If you want to try something new or meet some like-minded people on your next visit to a park, contact a licensed tour operator.

Parks Victoria licenses tour operators who are experts in these activities and more. They will help you get the most out of your visit.

View all local tours

How to get there

French Island National Park

Take the passenger ferry from Stony Point across to French Island. Tickets are available for purchase on the ferry or via online bookings. The trip takes 10-12 minutes and delivers you to Tankerton Jetty on French Island. The Ranger station is next to the pier.

Check Western Port Ferries for the ferry timetable and weather conditions - ferry services can be cancelled at very short notice.

Visit Emergency Management Victoria for the French Island Emergency Management Plan and for a visitor information guide developed to improve safety awareness for visitors to French Island.

Camping & accommodation

Fairhaven Campground is located on the west coast foreshore, this is an idyllic overnight place to camp within a natural setting.

Check availability

Need to know

French Island National Park

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Fairhaven Campground (French Island National Park)

    French Island National Park Closure to the Public

    French Island National Park will be closed to Public Access from Friday the 3rd June 2021 until Tuesday the 5th July 2021 due to Aerial Baiting of Feral Cats.

    No vehicle based camping

    There is no vehicle based camping allowed at Fairhaven Camground

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