The New Zealanders looked like they had sealed the match when they led 15-8 with just five minutes left, only for the Kangaroos to rally and steal the match much to the delight of the 30,000 plus crowd which had packed into Melbourne's Telstra Dome.
Kangaroos winger Greg Inglis showed just why he is being hailed as one of the future greats of the game when he scored his second try in the 75th minute to give the home side the smallest glimmer of hope.
It was all they needed when minutes later Mark Gasnier broke Kiwi hearts when he finished off a move manufactured by Broncos team mates Darren Lockyer and Karmichael Hunt.
Halfback Johnathan Thurston converted both late tries to rub salt into the wounds, after the New Zealand side looked to have made all the necessary improvements after last week's 30-18 defeat in Auckland.
Brian McClennan's men had looked to have levelled the series when mercurial scrum half Stacey Jones kicked a field goal after Sydney Roosters centre Iosia Soliola had scored two second half tries.
But when Inglis dashed 65 metres to cross for his second it started a comeback which will be remembered for a long time.
New Zealand now have to regroup for their home Test against Great Britain in Christchurch next Saturday.
The Kangaroos' next match is not for another fortnight against Great Britain in Sydney on November 4.