It's time to light up for Christmas.

The Bay of Plenty Times popular Christmas Light Trail has officially opened for registrations.

The annual tradition is a must-see for the young and the not so young, with homes from Waihi to Te Puke showcasing the best of the Bay's festive lights.

The public is encouraged to take part by lighting up their homes and also get into their cars and take in the sights.


Trail highlights in the past have included most if not all of the homes in Plover Place, Maungatapu.

Plover Place resident Gordon Barnett, 81, said this would be his ninth or tenth year participating in the Bay of Plenty Christmas Light Trial.

"If you live in this street, it's almost mandatory to take part," he said.

Mr Barnett said each year most of the residents went all out to light up their homes, and each year he added a few more lights to his decorations.

"It's a great community spirited way of getting to know your neighbours. It adds a lovely spirit to the street and we always have a street Christmas party as well," he said.

This year as well as lighting up his house, the hedges and garden, Mr Barnett said he planned to decorate his flagpole with 1200 Christmas lights, with help from his grandson.

Mr Barnett said his late wife Noelene, who died 18 months ago, was heavily involved in the trail activities, and after she lost mobility her walking frame was adorned with Christmas lights.

"Noelene just loved it. All the feedback and smiles on people's faces makes all the time and effort so worthwhile," Mr Barnett said.

As people left the street, and others move in they were encouraged to join in the fun, he said.

Mr Barnett said he had lost count of how many light bulbs he had changed over the years.

This year many of his thousands of lights would be LED which meant they would shine a lot brighter, he said.

Mr Barnett said a donation box was put out each year to collect funds for Waipuna Hospice, which last year raised about $1600.

Major sponsors this year are Powerco, Signcreations and The Hits.

Homes in the 2016 Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Light Trail will have their lights on from 7.30pm to 11pm each night until December 24.

To register your property to be included in the trail

Complete the entry form in the Bay of Plenty Times

Or pop into the Bay of Plenty Times office

405 Cameron Rd, Tauranga or associated offices

before 5pm on November 24.

Alternatively register online at