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
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
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.