While they were expected to cross paths at the APEC Summit in Vietnam and East Asia Summit in the Philippines next week, Ardern wanted the chance for the leaders to formally meet first.
Ms Ardern has reiterated the NZ offer, first made under John Key's government to the Gillard government in 2013 and rejected many times since.
Ms Ardern insisted the offer remained "firmly on the table" but said she understood Mr Turnbull's reasoning.
"We of course do not have the circumstances that Australia is operating under, but we also can not ignore the human face of what Australia is dealing with as well".
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten U-turned on Labor's stance on Friday, saying the plan had similarities to the United States resettlement deal to take 1250 people.
The issue of resettling refugees and asylum seekers has plagued Australia for years now.
More than 600 refugees and asylum seekers have barricaded themselves in the mothballed detention centre on Manus Island, which closed on Tuesday. They feared for their safety if they had to leave the compound.
"We've always believed that we can try our best to find a balance to pursue the interest of our exporters but at the same time we want it to maintain the position of trying to pursue New Zealand's best interest".
Hundreds of people gathered at Hyde Park in Sydney where they heard there was no safe place for the refugees to go on Manus Island.
"We should give consideration to what New Zealand is offering", former immigration minister Kevin Andrews told Sky News.
"It's a hard problem but we should not rule out any particular solution".
"Turnbull is meeting with President Trump in coming weeks, in Asia, he should raise again the possibility of taking some people", Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.
Mr Turnbull's decision not to accept the offer may prolong what Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called a "humanitarian catastrophe" on Manus Island.
The last food packs were distributed today.
The rights of Kiwis living in Australia were also expected to come up in the discussions.