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The French Island start page | The Island tour | The Koalas | The Prison | Leaving
The cruise from Phillip Island, Victoria to French Island is about an hour or so. On this day, we 'braved' a little bit of chop on a drizzly grey day. We felt lucky that the tour hadn't been canceled because Shaun really wanted to show me this island.

We were met at the dock by Alan "Koala Dundee" and his awaiting coach. The tour was held up about 10 minutes, waiting for a journalist team from the Melbourne Herald Sun who were doing a photo/essay for the Sunday March 11, 2000 travel insert of the Sunday paper.

Shaun had been on this tour with his family many years ago and was happy to see Koala Dundee again. "Koala Dundee is a walking encyclopedia. I reckon I could come back here 5 times and hear something new." True enough, Alan Chandler spun an historic story, making me wish I could hear every word (There were some active kids on board.) Check out this small movie of Koala Dundee to get a feel of the tour.

First Koala Dundee told us about a certain type of bird that came to the spot just over the hill, every year at exactly the same time of day (7:15PM or something like that). They fly in so fast and have no way of stopping and so they purposely fly into the tree trunks and fall to a stop. There they nest. The story is much more interesting than I can remember. Come to oz and catch the tour. :-)

We then went on to the general store. It was here that we saw our first solar telephone booth. Notice in Australia they still have telephone booths. Because the island is remote to modern necessities, they have to give second thought about their utilities. The solor paneled telephone booth and street lights are reminders of the consideration they take to provide electricity to the island. They also have Internet access there.

I asked if houses ever come up for sale on French Island and I was told they do. And there are properties for sale currently. Those that choose to live on the island choose an existence that is dependent on an independence from the mainland as much as possible for stretches of time. French Island is an Island off the coast of Phillip Island, which is off the coast of Victoria. Phillip Island is accessible via a bridge. Most of the cars on the island look well worn. A lot of rust is visable. I dont remember seeing anyone driving a car but we saw about 30 in a parking lot.

Perseverence Primary School was an unexpected stop along the way. "Mick" Mike" or "Nick" the photographer had Koala stop the tour so he could use the bathroom. When he finally returned several long minutes later, he announced, "I'm going to have a word with the cook". He wouldn't divulge where he'd eaten that day. :-) He'd had a chicken and mayo sandwich. y-u-c-k.

I am looking forward to seeing the story the couple writes about the island and will put the article here unless there are really bad pictures of me! :-).

Next...The Koalas were roadside entertainment....

Approaching the dock
The General Store
Solar Telephone
The School