Cyclists, walkers and runners have gathered to celebrate the opening of the second section of the Omokoroa Cycleway.
The 1.1km stretch of cycleway runs from Tinopai Reserve and Lynley Park and was formally opened this morning.
Western Bay District Council Mayor Garry Webber, Tauranga City Mayor Greg Brownless and the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges were in attendance.
"I know a lot of people from Omokoroa, particularly the land owners who have given council staff and contractors access through their properties to enable construction of this new facility, are really excited about this new cycleway," Mr Webber said.
"This new facility opens up a pristine piece of wetland and harbour that is the habitat of many bird species including Banded rail, kotuku, godwits and tui and is perfect for walkers, runners, cyclists and dog owners who are prepared to keep their dogs on a lead."
The cycleway is the second stage of a planned 19km route, made up of both new and existing off-road shared paths and local road connections, that will provide a link between the growing township of Omokoroa and Tauranga City's existing urban cycleway network.
Mr Bridges said the project was a great example of what could be accomplished "when we work in partnership".
"When it is finished next year, the entire 19km cycleway will link Omokoroa with Tauranga City's existing urban cycleway network, giving people the choice of walking and biking around their communities, to school and to work."
Mr Bridges said about $17 million was expected to be injected into cycling projects such as the Omokoroa trail over the next three years due to funding from the Government, local councils and local businesses.
The trail is an Urban Cycleways Programme project, jointly funded by Central Government, the NZ Transport Agency, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Tauranga City Council with additional contributions from the NZ Community Trust, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust and the Omokoroa Community Board.