This homestead as it is now but is rather historical because it used to be the hub of a thriving small community until 1937, this property was the old cheese factory for the Le Bons Bay.
Now it has been brought back to life in the form of the SECRET GARDEN roadside tea and coffee house.
Open in fine weather to the public
10.00 to 16.00
The Secret Garden is a peaceful and wonderful little spot on the roadside for coffee and tea.
But this is not just an ordinary place to stop, this Secret Garden is not just amongst mature trees and magnificent cottage garden flowers but also friendly chickens, and pure white doves fly overhead. This Secret is found nestled in the heart of Le Bons Bay Valley.
In Summer, take a mat and a good book and spread yourself out on the beach for a day of sunbathing and swimming. Remember to take a hat, sunscreen, coverup clothes, sunglasses and water to drink. Don't expect too much people watching - there aren't many people!
Many people cycle Banks Peninsula and make Le Bons a nights stopover. The peninsula is steep and hilly, but if that's what you're into then...
You can also catch the shuttle bus from Christchurch to Akaroa and get dropped off at the Duvauchelle post office and get the mail van to Le Bons (this way you get to see all the other bays too). You arrive in Le Bons at about 2pm.
On an exploration/fishing trip to the end of the beach and across the river we fished off the jetty, the tide came in and there was no way we could return (2 small children) until the tide went out. Luckily we had matches, built a small fire and cooked the fish we had caught.
Hey, you know, Le Bons is a safe beach with no strong rips. There haven't been any drownings in my memory but be sensible if you're in the water.
It is NOT a lifeguard patrolled beach. Don't go out beyond your capabilities, keep an eye on the weather and don't swim alone.
Occasionally in summer there are jellyfish, but it's only the little blue ones that sting.
Well, well, well, stumbled across le Bons Bay site when seeking information on Akaroa. I get the impression that the place hasn't changed too much since the '50s. We lived in Christchurch from 1950 to 1955, during that time we spent many holidays at Le Bons Bay in a friend's batch. Few other people were around in those days. I remember the beach, varieties of seaweed, rock pools with pretty sea anemonies, picking up lovely shells early in the morning, swimming - hmm, the water was cold. There were simple batches on the beach-front and a few behind them, a farm nearby where we were allowed to bottle-feed the motherless calves. Friend's sons opossum trapping with an air rifle up in the bush on the hillside, there was good payment for evidence (pelt from ears to tail) of reducing their numbers.
A family of penguins took residence under the batch we stayed in, the youngsters squawked every night when the parents went out presumably to catch food for them. What a horrible noise, it was scary for a six-year-old! Day after day My Father, wearing heavy gloves with a carton would crawl under the batch, put the non-paying guests in the carton and settle them in a distant location. They were always back by the next night!
I have even read the road to Akaroa is still not completely tar sealed today. Did we ever suffer from car-sickness going round those bends and over the pot-holes up to Hill Top Hotel and down the other side!
Fondest memory: It was a magical place for a kid from the city, so much to see and so close to nature! How wonderful to learn it still holds its charm. Hope I get to visit again one day.