Being a seaside town is frequently a double-edge sword: the scenery is gorgeous yet a challenge to control flooding. Napier’s first seawall was constructed in 1888. During the 1931 earthquake, the shoreline was violently raised over 6.5 feet. A new concrete breakwater was built in 1936 with a pathway on top. The Sunken Gardens were created in 1969 on a wedge of land between the seawall and Marine Parade. Below a short flight of stairs is an oasis of flowerbeds sculpted among the manicured lawn.