Following its rise to international prominence, sustainability has become an official principle or goal in many countries. Due to contextual differences, countries have followed different paths in the pursuit of sustainability. Approaches can be classified into three categories: green planning; institutional reform; and social mobilization. None of these courses on its own is likely to achieve sustainability. Yet, countries often appear to develop a path dominated by one of these approaches. This paper focuses on Australia, sketches the extent to which green planning, institutional reform and social mobilization have been playing a role in the pursuit of sustainability, and illustrates the difficulties of developing a pathway that combines these approaches.