AkaroaBanks Peninsula

Okains Bay / Le Bons Bay, Banks Peninsula

When driving through the hills around Akaroa you’ll have the chance to take some detours to different bays and beaches. We haven’t visited them all yet, but I can highly recommend a trip down to Okains Bay or Le Bons Bay. Or, you could do both if you have the time, but one is probably enough for most people.

Okains Bay

Out of these two beaches / bays, I’d recommend visiting Okains Bay if you’re only going to go to one. The detour from Summit Road (the main road above Akaroa) will take 10-15 minutes – there aren’t too many views from the road but it’s an easy drive. You’ll soon reach the little village, which has a couple of interesting old buildings.

From there it’s a short drive to the beach. There’s a cave pretty close to the car park which is worth a look and also a track through the tussocks to the beach. The beach itself is nice – more of a scenic beach than a place to swim etc. There’s not too much more to say – I’m sure you’ll look at the photos I took at Okains Bay and decide if you want to visit or not!

Le Bons Bay

We were told by the people at the hotel we stayed at that Le Bons Bay was one of the best beaches to visit close to Akaroa. We had pretty bad light when we were there so it didn’t look as good as it could. Still though – it’s a nice beach and is a good place to visit if you’re exploring the area.


If you’re visiting these bays, it’s a good bet you’ll be spending some time in Akaroa. This little town French influenced town is home to some cute old buildings and a nice waterfront area. There’s also a waterfall to walk to and the harbour is ripe for exploring on a boat tour.

Getting There

Driving along Summit Road (and the roads off it) is one of the highlights of a trip to Akaroa. There are some stunning views and heaps of places to pull over and grab a photo. Highlights of this drive include the Otepatotu Scenic Reserve, Hinewai Reserve and the various bays you can take a detour too. It’s one of the most scenic coastal drives in New Zealand – I’ll be writing a post about it soon!

Are you planning a trip to Banks Peninsula? Check out some of my other posts!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.
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