Auckland. The central city lies across an isthmus straddling the Pacific Ocean on its east and the Tasman Sea on its west. The buzz of a city is defined by its nautical location. Seagulls, sparrows, and the native tui bird occupy the pohutukawa trees above the beach, competing with the sound of young people singing and playing an impromptu game of touch rugby. World-class shopping and phenomenal dining are never too far from harbors, islands, native bush, and black-sand beaches. Go whale watching, hike an ancient volcano, or taste local award-winning wine.