Australia's mixed relay team will now reset their sights on next month's Olympic qualifier in Tokyo and World Triathlon Series grand final in Switzerland after copping a 10-second penalty and dropping to fourth in Canada on Monday (AEST).
Novocastrian Aaron Royle combined with Matt Hauser, Ashleigh Gentle and debutant Jaz Hedgeland in Edmonton but a tag outside the exchange zone on the final handover saw them miss the podium by three seconds.
The penalty was served midway through the run of anchor Hauser, who had moved within one second of leaders New Zealand after his swim leg.
Australia eventually posted a time of one hour, 20 minutes and 33 seconds, well clear of fifth-placed Italy (1:21.37).
New Zealand (1:20.14), Great Britain (1:20.23) and the United States (1:20.30) claimed the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.
Royle was second up for Australia and he retained the sixth position given to him by Hedgeland.
Third member Gentle was then 41 seconds behind New Zealand and she reduced that deficit to under 30 seconds.