Le Bons Bay

Le Bons Bay

The most fun fact about Le Bons Bay in Banks Peninsula is the source of the name. An obvious notion is that it was the name of an early French settler, and that is the completely made up explanation provided by Chat GPT! But there are several other explanations for the name. Pre-settlement whalers called it “the bones bay” due to the large quantity of dry whale bones; or French whalers styled it Le Bon (the Good) Bay; or Captain Le Bas mistook it for Akaroa and sent a boat’s crew ashore – one of the crew was named Le Bon; and so on.

Today, interpreting the name as “good” best describes the reality of the location. It is one of the prettiest beaches on the Canterbury coast with the benefit of safe swimming. At a kilometre wide, there is also plenty of room to spread out. In any event, it is mostly quiet, with a modest number of houses and holiday homes near the beach and no facilities to speak of.

Access to the beach is from car parks behind the low dunes backing the beach, which only take a couple of minutes to cross. If you plan to stay a while you may want to have a beach umbrella or other shelter, as well as food and drinks.

Le Bons Bay is accessible from Summit Road. From State Highway 75, just north of Akaroa, take Long Bay Road to the crater rim then turn left to Summit Road. Le Bons Bay Road is off to the right about 5 kms along Summit Road.

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