Bikes decorated with tinsel and trees and ridden by those of all ages marked the official opening of part of the Kamo Shared Path.
The first two stages of the path - from Rust Ave up to Kamo Rd - were opened with a celebration on Saturday.
After speeches and the ribbon cutting outside the Whangārei Library, people on various types of wheels - bikes, scooters, roller blades and wheelchairs, as well as those on foot - went for a spin along the new path.
KiwiRail has welcomed the shared path for providing a safe, legal route for cyclists and pedestrians alongside the rail track.
Chief operating officer Henare Clarke said that was particularly important for the children and their caregivers of the 10 schools within 500 metres of the line.
"We expect the new pathway will address longstanding safety issues we face with children and others regularly walking along the track," Clarke said.
He acknowledged the safety-first approach the Whangārei District Council has taken with the development of the path.
"Nine pedestrian level crossing have been upgraded, including four sets of automatic safety gates, and new technology that will keep our road arm barrier arms down after a train has passed to give footpath users time to get across the road at Manse St and Kensington Avenue."
He said KiwiRail looked forward to working with the council to complete the next stages of the shared path.
Work on Stage three - from Kamo Rd to Jack St - has started and is expected to be finished around May next year.
The path from Jack St to Fisher Tce will be started early next year and finished in mid-2019.
The rail underpass from Adams Pl to Fisher Tce would be constructed over the Christmas-New Year period.