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St Leonard's Classy and cool Petone’s Jackson Street is one of the most fashionable precincts in the Wellington region, offering constant surprises.

Springing to life

Petone’s Jackson Street is filled with historical, arty and unique shops, where mall is a four-letter word
photographed by Douglas Rimington/www.detunephotography.com
Expanded from issue 27 of Lucire

 

The range and uniqueness of the shops is staggering: where else can you buy Dutch sweets, mirrors, designer coats, art, knives, African spices, beads, guitars, home-made fudge, plus-size frocks, cookbooks, candles, and a cat-themed gift all in one street (and that’s just a start)?

 


  Photographed by Douglas Rimington with the exception of fountain image, provided courtesy of the Jackson Street Programme

JUST OUT OF WELLINGTON on the northern beaches of the harbour is a fantastic little heritage listed street. The short drive, bus or train trip around the harbour from Wellington to Petone is worth it for the view, let alone the fact that you have just travelled along the Wellington fault line.
   Pito-one was the first organized landing point of settlers from the New Zealand Company. The settlement, now known as Petone, grew as parts of Jackson’s Farm was sold off. By the 1920s the Petone Borough Council decided to even out the streets irregular angles and widths. The Jackson Street of today is a result of this work completed in 1938. Remnants of the early architectural styles are still a part of Jackson Street, and in 1996 Jackson Street were listed with the Historic Places Trust as a Heritage Precinct. Jackson Street starts at Petone train station and heads east across the Valley towards the Hutt River.
   With a village atmosphere, Jackson Street is filled with shopping opportunities that are unique to the region and to New Zealand. From fashion to food, art to fair trade, home ware to the great outdoors, Jackson Street caters for the discerning shopper. A large number of the businesses are owner operated so the service you receive is more personal with high product knowledge.
   The range and uniqueness of the shops is staggering: where else can you buy Dutch sweets, mirrors, designer coats, art, knives, African spices, beads, guitars, home-made fudge, plus-size frocks, cookbooks, candles, and a cat-themed gift all in one street (and that’s just a start)?! Not to mention the award-winning array of cafés and restaurants along the way. Petone is fast becoming known as the café capital of Wellington, if not New Zealand. Take your time and cafe-hop up one side of Jackson Street and down the other.
   Have a drink bottle handy for a refill at Te Puna Wai Ora (the Spring of Life) and experience how water is supposed to taste. This is pure, free, artesian water naturally treated by layers of sand and gravel. You are likely to meet people from all over the region filling bottles to use as drinking water at home.
   Winter is with us, and the tight knit shops of Jackson Street give you plenty of reasons to come in from the cold. Or if you want to experience the breathtaking freshness of a Wellington winter southerly, take the short walk down to Petone Beach and watch a storm roll in. The Petone Settlers’ Museum is right on the waterfront and well worth a visit or a free-to-enter shelter from the cold.
   There’s plenty more to explore in the Hutt Valley so make sure you pick up a Must Do Ticklist at an i-Site Visitor Centre or online at www.huttvalleynz.com. •

 


 

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