Christmas is a year-long project for Linda Hills and her brother Edward Warrington.
The pair are the founders, designers, builders and managers of the Christmas Grotto at Spreydon Baptist Church.
The grotto, now in its 13th year, drew more than 37,000 people last year and expectations are that this year will prove to be just as popular.
Hills said this year's set was based on a German village complete with a fountain, a miniature Cologne Cathedral, toy factory and houses. "It's definitely a big undertaking," she said.
The grotto takes up most of the church's auditorium and setting it up took more than a week, more than 50 workers and some long hours.
"It's such a full-on process . . . but when we do stop and look at it properly, I know people are going to love it."
The grotto opened yesterday for school groups and resthome residents. It will open to the public on Saturday.
Entry is $3. Children aged 2 and under are free. Opening hours are daily from 9.30am to 9:30pm. On Christmas Eve it will close at 11.30pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News