More than 1000 people left Australia to live long-term in the Waikato last year - but more than four times that joined the great Kiwi exodus across the ditch.
And this week hundreds more turned out in Hamilton to hear about job opportunities in Australia's mining industry.
Many are disgruntled with long-term unemployment and low wages in New Zealand and see Australia as a cash cow for financial security and a safe retirement.
But recruitment agencies and business advocates warn Australia might not be the "land of honey" many expect, with up to 70% of job hunters returning home within a year.
Latest statistics show 4788 people left the greater Waikato region for Australia, either permanently or long-term, in the year to April.
Only 1144 booked a one-way ticket from Australia to set up life in the Waikato.
South Waikato had one of the highest proportions of people in New Zealand crossing the ditch and, from 2007 to 2011, the number leaving the Otorohanga district tripled.
SOS Recruitment owner Michael Whybro noticed an increase in people shifting to Australia for work but estimated about 60% to 70% came back home within a year.
"Unless you're specifically looking to get into one of the industries which is booming in Australia, which is mining, the opportunities that many Kiwis believe exist on the other side of the Tasman are all but a fallacy."
Whybro, who moved to New Zealand from Australia 17 years ago, said a lot of Australians were going through tough times.
"We talk or Facebook our family several times a week and they're all struggling like we are here.
"I'm a proud Australian but it's not the land of honey many kiwis think it is."
And as one former miner told the Times, there are sacrifices in the pursuit of the Aussie dollar.
Hamilton builder Tim Bennett, 24, made the move to Australia last year for what he thought would be a quickfire way to pay off debt working in exploration drilling in Western Australia.
Twelve-hour days, seven days a week - real hard yakka in 40 to 50 degree Celsius heat in the middle of the dusty outback.
"We were lucky if we got to stay in a caravan park. Sometimes it was just tents and a caravan out in the desert."
The money was good - double what he earns building in Hamilton. The lifestyle, on the other hand, was "miserable".
"I kind of felt like I was sacrificing the best years of my life just for money. It didn't really add up."
After a nine-month stint he returned to New Zealand with a healthy bank account and no regrets. But, he returned home nonetheless.
EMA Waikato chairman Jack Ninnes said there were a number of Kiwis arriving in Australia who were finding themselves "quite a lot worse off".
The average weekly income in New Zealand for the first quarter of 2012 was $860.62 compared with the latest figures from Australia putting the average weekly paycheck at $1047.20 - that's an extra $186.58 in the Aussie workers' paycheck each week.
However, Mr Ninnes said taking into account the cost of living - rent, groceries, power etc - and the different taxation system in Australia, the wage differential was not significant.
"The cost of living over there's a lot higher than it is here. So all in all you could be actually a lot worse off," he said.
But former Hamilton woman Natalie Dixon, 31, has no regrets after moving to Australia in 2010. She moved with partner Joshua Bourguignon to northern Queensland in search of a better lifestyle and better income.
It was a move which paid off, with Miss Dixon getting a job as a journalist and a NZ$25,000 pay rise.
"When I was living in Hamilton I felt I was working just to live.
"I've just moved to Mackay and am saving for a house and I know if I was still living in Hamilton I wouldn't be able to save anything."