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Jackson Street, Petone is a heritage-listed street is well known for its galleries, cafes, restaurants and unique shopping. Jackson Street is filled with 1930's architecture from the days when Petone was a settlement built to support local industry. The industry died but Jackson Street has survived and grown to be a centre piece of Hutt Valley tourism. If you’re looking for local characters, history and stories, you’ll find them on this afternoon spent amidst a true kiwi community.
Petone became the first European settlement in New Zealand, set up by the New Zealand Company around 1840. Despite early setbacks such as flooding and earthquakes – resulting in many settlers relocating to the other side of the harbour to establish Wellington – the people of Petone soon built a thriving community of houses, shops and industries. When the industry moved out in the 1950s the area and buildings fell into decline. Nowadays, Petone is a great example of renewal and community.
While the street is filled with history, it is the characters of the community who have shaped and brought Petone to the centre stage of Wellington. You'll meet the owner in each store you step in to - plus personal service.
In a walk down Jackson Street there is a good chance you will meet an Olympic champion, a Samoan chief, ex All Blacks, a politician, an international chef or people that simply just exude passion for the area.
Flowing under Jackson Street, Petone and the whole Hutt Valley is a natural artesian spring. Te Puna Wai Ora, the spring of life, is a meeting place for people from around the region where they come to get their free, untreated water straight from the ground, bubbling up through layers of rock and filtered naturally to the surface. Remember to bring your water bottle to fill up.
Get a taste of days gone by with a visit to the old Police Station and Jail.
Not many restaurants can boast an award from their own embassy, but that's just the case with La Bella Italia.