Melbourne has come out tops as the favourite destination for Kiwis heading across the ditch.

A study by airline Emirates has revealed 41 per cent of Kiwis surveyed rated the Victorian capital - known for its vibrant cafe and restaurant scene and numerous sporting, arts and cultural attractions - as their preferred destination.

Brisbane came second, with 30 per cent saying they wanted to head to the Queensland city that is also the gateway to the Gold Coast's beaches and numerous theme parks. Sydney came a close third, at 29 per cent.

Australians also had their say in the study. Asked which three Auckland attractions they would most like to visit, Waiheke Island came out on top at 67 per cent, 28 per cent said they wanted to check out Auckland and 5 per cent preferred a surfing tour of the region's beaches.


"It's interesting to see what inspires Australian and New Zealand travellers when they consider a trip across the Tasman," Emirates' Australasia divisional vice-president Barry Brown said.

"Whichever destination or experience they seek most, we aim to provide our passengers an all-inclusive and unforgettable journey."

The study's findings - which featured the responses of 656 New Zealanders and 999 Australians - were released to coincide with Emirates' special fares offer.

One-way economy flights to the three Australian cities start from $199. The special fares from Auckland to Brisbane or Melbourne are on sale from today until Wednesday. Auckland or Christchurch to Sydney fares are on sale until Sunday.