What is the best passport in the world for travellers?

Australian passports are the ninth most powerful in the world, according to a new online passport index that allows you to sort passports of the world by a 'passport power rank'.

Created by financial advisory firm Arton Capital, the index determines the ranking of a country by calculating how many countries passport holders can visit without an advance visa, or by purchasing visa on arrival.

Those holding Australian passports can visit 138 countries without having to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Czech Republic and Hungarian passport holders are also ranked equal ninth, behind 24 other countries, placing all three countries one spot behind New Zealand passports, ranked eighth most powerful with 139 countries permitting entry without a visa.

USA and UK passports are the most powerful, each possessing a total of 147 countries its citizens can visit without needing a visa.

French, Germany and South Korean citizens tied for second place, with 145 countries.

Passports from places with advanced economies, such as Hong Kong, sitting in the eleventh spot, dominate the list.

Some of the least desirable passports are from Bhutan (40), Myanmar (28), Nepal (38), Afghanistan (38), Iraq (38) and North Korea (44). These countries can be notoriously difficult to get a visa for.

Visa requirements are often an interesting, but overlooked, indicator of national relations, according to The Washington Post.

Countries that are allied usually offer each others' citizens a quick visa on arrival.

Visitors to countries on not-so-friendly terms may have to provide entry and exit information, a letter of invitation, details about where they are staying throughout the trip, as well as paying a hefty fee. Mistakes could be punished by the application process being drawn out, or worse still, rejected.

Recently, Australia was excluded from a list of 45 countries to be offered visa-free travel to Indonesia.

Strained relations over the imminent execution of two convicted Australian drug traffickers were blamed for the exclusion.

Visas were to be waived for several Asian and European countries for reciprocity.

"If we give visa-free travel to Australia, we have to be given the same thing," Tourism Minister Arif Yahya said. "It cannot be that we give it to them first."

Currently, Australians pay $US35 ($A45.76) for entry into Indonesia, which provides them with a 30 day maximum stay. Australian tourists account for 12 per cent of all foreigners visiting Indonesia in 2014, according to the Indonesian statistics bureau.

While the Passport Index does allow you to sort passports by ranking, location and colour, it does not allow you to see which countries specific passports will permit you to enter without a visa.

So, in case you were wondering which country New Zealand passport holders can enter without a visa that Australians can't - it's Brazil.

World's most powerful passports by rank

1. USA, UK (147)

2. France, South Korea, Germany (145)

3. Italy, Sweden (144)

4. Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands (143)

5. Switzerland (142)

6. Spain, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal (141)

7. Canada, Greece, Austria, Malaysia (140)

8. New Zealand (139)

9. Australia, Czech Republic, Hungary (138)

10. Poland, Slovakia (137)

... and the least powerful

Palestinian Territories, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, South Sudan (28)

Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, Ethiopia (38)

To view the full index, click here