Is it too soon for Christmas decorations? Don't tell Jo Haynes.

Her Christmas Cave near Bunnythorpe is already chock-a-block and fully lit with decorations and general Christmassy stuff.

It may be an odd passion but her commitment cannot be faulted. Santa Claus won't be coming to this town - because he never leaves.

Previously, Jo and husband Warren lived in Palmerston North. Every September, Jo would empty the house and put all the furniture into storage so she could create her Christmas Cave.


The couple joined the Christmas Lights Spectacular and opened their home to the public.

The couple moved to a lifestyle block near Bunnythorpe last year, and Jo's stipulation was she had to continue with her Christmas Cave.

Her purpose-built Christmas Cave was built and now it's a permanent fixture.

"It comes alive at night and is super, super magical," Jo said.

There's much to see in her barn. It takes time as she points out the Christmas pixies, Christmas mice, Christmas owls and Chirstmas hedgehogs.

There are 18 themed bays - including a traditional Christmas, Kiwiana, woodlands, waterfalls and a beach theme from when the family had a Foxton bach.

Her grandmother Millicent Hocken's woollen swimming togs and furs, and the family's more than 100-year-old christening gown were also included in the display of memorabilia.

Needless to say, Jo was adding to her collections all the time.


"I keep everything. I write everything down on paper with the number of bays and then make everything flow."

Jo Haynes' Christmas Cave is open by appointment to curious visitors and, from December 10, opens each evening from 7pm to 10pm.

Jo hopes her Christmas Cave becomes a beacon of festivity for everyone on the road to Bunnythorpe.

Made with funding from