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French Island Tours - Day Tours
Attraction details
Cowes, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

We had booked 2 weeks previous and told we would be picked up at the pier and taken to the prison. We were not met at the pier and forced to walk 3km with 7 young children with no water etc. Lois told us walk the distance to the rec reserve and she would pick us up from there. The rec reserve was 3km away!!!! She arrived ten mins later after the hour walk we endured, in a terrible falling apart bus that looks like the school bus from the simpsons! She took us to the general store which is overpriced and shady. She left us there and drove off to get another 10 people. When she finally came back, we were then taken on a scarry bus drive to her dingy farm. Potholes in the road and her speeding was worse than a rollercoaster! We were then told she does not do prison tours!! Her farm was disgusting and the animals were filthy dirty, smelly and the part you have tea in is a stinky falling apart shed!!!! We were then rushed back to the pier by her husband that smelled like urine and yet again another rollercoaster ride! We were not the only guests to want to catch the next ferry! FRENCH ISLAND is like a ghost town with drink drivers and no insurance and no LAWS!! SO BEWARE!!!! If anything goes wrong its too bad for you! There are unregisterted abandoned vehicles all over the place and people driving around with completely unroadworthy cars! It was like something from a horror movie!!

Visited October 2013
40 Thank Beck P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Remote little island worth the visit”
Reviewed October 5, 2013

I went with 3 others during Seniors Week in Australia. A visit to French Island was always one of those things you'd do but never got around to, however, the 4 of us were so glad we finally did it. Taking the train from Frankston to Stony Point is a real treat and then the short ferry ride across Westernport Bay to Tankerton Jetty brought us to the island. Actually, it's larger than I imagined and there's so much to see with Lois Airs (French Island Bus Tours) who drives the bus explaining the flora and fauna of the island. She brings out lots of information sheets to hand around the passengers, and stops frequently to point out beautiful native orchids in the bushland, as well as koalas nestled into the forks of trees. Whilst we didn't get the chance to explore the McLeod Historical Prison Farm (not enough time), it's a good excuse to return and explore at leisure on foot or bicycle. You can stay in a cabin beside the general store. During the afternoon, we stopped at Lois's farm to enjoy a Devonshire tea inside an historic chicory kiln where the educational talk continued. The only negative was that the ferry ride back didn't coincide with the train back to Frankston from Stony Point and we had around 1.5 hours to wait. However, well worth the visit and the tour cost very reasonable. If you go, take insect repellant as the mozzies there ate us alive!

Visited October 2013
2 Thank AussieGeni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing tour with Lois Aires French island Tours”
Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

Myself and my husband went to French island for the day on the ferry and has preorganised a day tour with Lois Aires which is a must! She was a brilliant tour guide, showed us wild koalas, her farm animals, we got the chance to feed a baby lamb, a lovely Shetland pony, a very affectionate ewe and some chickens. Lois Aldo made us a great coffee and the best scones with local apricot spread, it was so yummie! We had such a great day, she was so patient with us taking enormous amount of photos and such a great ambassador for French Island- I would highly recommend Lois! Btw for all European counterparts, cannot bring car on day ferry and will need a tour to get about, this place is massive!if you want to see wild koalas, go on the local tour, Lois knows where they all our! Only disappointment was that I didn't get to see an echidna. All in all, had a great day

Visited July 2013
Thank Lydiasean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“The Best Eco-Tour in Victoria”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We have opted for an afternoon on Sunday. After a pleasant 1 hour drive from Melbourne to Stony Point where we have purchased a ferry ticket to French Island (AUD 24 return) at a Stony Point Kiosk. The Staff at the Kiosk were very friendly and advised us that due to the windy weather some of the return ferries might be cancelled. We have decided to take the risk and departed on a 12:00pm Ferry to Tankerton.

We had a quick look around the pier and Lois, who is the main organizer and guide of French Island Tours has picked us up in a bus. There were no other participants on that day and we had the whole bus to ourselves! The tour was very informative - we heave learned a lot about the history and fauna and flora of the French Island as well as its present inhabitants and the environmentally way of living (the inhabitants are using rain water and their own electricity either from solar panels or power generators). We had an opportunity to visit a local eco-lodge, observe koalas and and echidna from a very close distance, visit a local school with a pet sheep Snowball, observe dolphins at the other ferry terminal, visit old chicory farm and taste some of the best scones and jams in Australia (all made of local ingredients), play with farm animals and drive through a big part of the Island.

Lois passion and enthusiasm were very contagious and made us look at the Island through her eyes.

At the end of the tour Lois took drove us back to the Ferry Terminal and waited until we were sure that the ferry wasn't cancelled.

We took the 4:30pm ferry back (it was a bit delayed due to the weather) with a commitment that we will come back to French Island in summer.

It was definitely the best tour we have ever done in Australia: fun (bus ride), informative (encounters with the nature), inspiring and cheap (AUD 25 per person).

Highly recommended!

Visited July 2013
7 Thank JoannaInAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Historical and informative”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

French Island has a rich historical history. The tour allows time to appreciate the interesting flora and fauna. The devonshire tea was delicious and the memorabilia provided a step back in time.

Visited May 2013
3 Thank Hazel A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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