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Tanderum Farm

The name of our 40 acre farm is an Aboriginal word of the Wurundjeri tribe meaning
'a ceremony involving the presentation of gifts and the granting to others of free passage across one's land'

Homestead and Ducks
Farm Building
With that as an underlying philosophy we are using organic methods for our 1000 tree olive grove. In addition we have a small herd of non-breeding llamas to provide a small tourist enterprise. The property is run by an alternative energy system almost entirely dependent on wind and solar power. We have constant hot water provided by the sun (and the rain!) supplemented by a woodheater. At present we burn dead wood from in and around our property but have planted woodlot trees for the future. We have a composting toilet leaving only the grey water to be processed through a series of drainage channels. We recycle as much as possible and find creative uses for all sorts of our and other people's junk!
4 Llamas

We have a large organic vegetable patch and a small mixed fruit orchard which produce much of our food. The greenhouse provides a micro-climate for propagating olives and indigenous plants from locally collected seed and germinating vegetable seeds. We have planted over 2000 trees and continue a round of planting each autumn to provide wildlife habitat, shelter and land management trees.

To add to the character and production of Tanderum we have free-ranging chooks and ducks, (French Island enjoys a fox-free environment) 2 orphaned Angora goats and 2 Clydesdale horses.

Llama being led by a reign

Featured on 'Getaway' and in 'The Age - Epicure Escape', your experience begins with a short ferry ride across Westernport Bay (10.00am from Stony Point or 9.10am from Cowes on Phillip Island). We collect you from Tankerton jetty and take you to Tanderum for freshly brewed coffee and homemade cake while we complete the preparation of the llamas and answer your questions about the farm and the llamas. You may have chosen to spend a weekend on French Island or Phillip Island in which case there are a number of accommodation options. We will discuss transport options with you.

After morning tea we stroll through French Island's first olive grove as you get to know your llama. The walk then takes us along local lanes looking out for the frequent koalas and enjoying the magnificent view over Westernport Bay to Phillip Island. Approximately one and a half hours later we stop for our stylish 3-course picnic lunch. Native bush provides the backdrop with views of Tortoise Head on French Island and Cowes on Phillip Island.

The walk is leisurely to allow you to escape the stresses of city life. We have time to enjoy the panoramic views, take photographs and generally enjoy the company of the llamas. Lunch features local produce, French Island Organic Olive oil and is accompanied by French Island wines . This is followed by fresh coffee or tea and a tasty dessert. After a short walk back to the farm we will return you in time to catch the 4.30pm ferry back to Stony Point or Cowes.

The walks are subject to weather conditions to maximise enjoyment of your llama experience and mainly operate on Saturday and Sunday. Other days may be arranged subject to ferry times.

Domingo the Llama
Gubba the Llama
Pablo the Llama
Vince the Llama
Smoky the Llama
Teddy the Llama
Zulo the Llama
Domingo Gubba Pablo Vince Smoky Teddy Zulo



The only olive grove on French Island, our 1,000 trees were planted in the autumn of 2000 on a gentle north facing slope on the southern coast of French Island. We selected varieties based on their ability to thrive in a coastal environment as well as their oil-making qualities. Four varieties were originally planted - Italian varieties Corregiola, Frantoio and Verdale and the Spanish variety Manzanillo - all of which are flourishing. Since 2002, several other varieties have been added in small numbers. When planting the grove, we decided on wide spacing to ensure each tree receives plentiful sunlight and nutrients as it grows and matures.

The grove has been carefully tended using organic and more recently biodynamic methods. The soil was painstakingly prepared in advance, enriched with natural lime and trace elements to ensure the trees were provided with all the essential nutrients for growth. The trees are fertilised with composted animal manures and the soil is further nourished with compost teas, seaweed and fish oil sprays together with other biodynamic preparations. The soil structure has been further improved by spreading natural rock dust. Weeds are controlled by locally occurring natural mulches including seagrass. We are now certified organic growers with the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA).

Olive Grove


Olive Branch


Bottled Olive Oil & Other Goodies

We chose not to irrigate the grove so the trees are fully adapted to the local environment, watered only by the pure natural rainfall of the region. While encouraging stronger and more resilient trees, this adds to the intense and unique flavour of our oil. Our olives are harvested by hand-rakes onto nets in the traditional way, sent to an organic processor for pressing and the oil is then returned to our farm in stainless steel vats to be bottled and labelled.

The first pressing of our French Island Olives was in 2003 producing a young, peppery flavoured oil and a good report from the oil maker. Since then our yields have increased and the quality of our oil assessed to a gold standard by the Gippsland Olive Grower's Association.



Alpacas are closely related to llamas and are often called the 'sheep' of the Lama Genus, bred mainly for their fine fibre. Woollen garments made from alpaca are both warm and light.

French Island Alpaca Wool is now available in 8-ply balls in dark charcoal grey or natural fawn at only $6 per 50gm ball, plus postage and handling.

Basket of Alpacca Wool



Jane Unwin or Alison Pitt

Postal Address
c/- Tankerton PO, French Island Vic 3921
03 5980 1287

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