In an example of the New Zealand DIY working bee attitude of old, residents of eastern Rodney have set out to give walkers and cyclists a taste of their countryside, vineyards and sea views.

Free diggers, rollers, trucks and shovel hands have aided a project to build a 9km path linking Matakana village, Pt Wells and Omaha Beach.

A Pt Wells community group has just finished a 2.75km partly sealed path to an existing cycleway at Omaha estuary, and their Matakana counterparts have blazed a 1.5km trail through a Watercare reserve at Jones Rd.

"I'm staggered by the use already of the Pt Wells-Omaha section," said resident Don McIntyre.

"Cyclists using it say they have been waiting for years for this, because the road into Pt Wells is narrow and gets heavy use by boat trailers - an accident waiting to happen.

"So the community proposed to the Rodney District Council to go halves in cash and kind in building this. If we had not, we would not have this."

Local businesses have subsidised truck and material costs, and voluntary labour was worth $60,0000.

"It shows the old community spirit that built our own hall 30 years ago still exists. We get a huge amount of pride out of it - rather than sit back and bleat for something to be provided."

The Matakana community group is laying the surface of its first section of what will be a $400,000 project with a two-year completion target.

Starting from the village, the 5.2km path will be attached to the Leigh Rd bridge and will pass a pottery and vineyards to link with the Omaha cycleway at the estuary causeway.

"People have a vision of being able to cycle with children safely along here," said project member Scott McCallum, who operated his own digger.

"But you could never do that on the arterial roads around here because of the density of traffic - 8000 vehicles a day and double at holidays."

The planned route for safe walking and cycling crosses some private land, taking in views of the Matakana coast, vineyards, olive groves and mandarin orchards.

A preview of the experience will be available on Saturday, March 5, when the Matakana community holds a public 7km fun run/walk and festival.

Called the "fruit loop", it is inspired by the Marathon du Medoc in France.

Project member Neville Johnson said the event had to raise $25,000 for project funds, already swelled by $14,000 through holding cinema and cabaret evenings.

"Members have dedicated hundreds of hours' labour, obtaining council support and consents and negotiating easements for crossing land.

"Matakana School pupils have raised and planted native shrubs and we have sponsorship from many local businesses."

Mr McCallum said the project was binding the community, which was now thinking about a building a 10km offroad path to Warkworth.

He said Auckland Council was expected to provide the "clip on" path to the bridge, but an engineer resident had offered free services.

"We like the partnership idea. People are much more committed to using it and looking after it rather than if it were provided by a benevolent government department."