Westshore, New Zealand
The first European settlers built houses on Westshore in 1850, when it was little more than a sandspit. Prior to the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, Westshore was already a popular seaside resort, a long-time popular spot for yachting and boating activities. In 1931 the earthquake struck Napier, reclaiming the Ahuriri lagoon. This freed up land and allowed Westshore to expand as a suburb, as previously a narrow shingle spit was the only land available. The earthquake also transformed the previously dangerous and shingly seashore into a safe and sandy swimming beach. Projects such as beach front beautification, landscaping and other improvements have helped to make Westshore one of the most popular and preferred beaches in Napier.
The Napier Swimming and Lifesaving Club was amongst the earliest Surf Lifesaving Clubs active in New Zealand, beginning in the 1910s. In October, 1958 the new Surf Section of the Napier Swimming and Lifesaving Club commenced patrols at Westshore Beach which, with improved access, had become the preferred swimming beach for the Napier public. The members of this new section wanted to form their own club, and on 28 October 1959 the Westshore Surf Lifesaving Club was formed. The Club operates from a two-story clubrooms building which opened in 1963 near the beachfront. Westshore is patrolled by surf-lifesavers in the summer months.
Westshore is located on the northern coast of Napier on the shores of the Hawke Bay. The 1931 earthquake freed up land which was previously underwater as part of the Ahuriri lagoon, and transformed the once dangerous shingle shore into a safe and sandy beach. Recreational activities popular at Westshore beach include swimming, picnicking and sunbathing. The earthquake raised the coastal land around Napier by about two metres. With the land that was made available, housing in Westshore increased, and there are also many motels in the suburb. Reclaimed land also includes the land on which the Hawke's Bay Airport was built. Westshore is one of Napier's most popular beaches. Relative to the steep and shingle beach on the foreshore of Marine Parade, Westshore is the more preferred swimming beach in Napier.