I would plant Grevilleas. Birds love them and they are beautiful, flowering for most of the year. Grevilleas are also fast growing and respond well to pruning so they can be kept neat if that is your concern. Their roots are also shallow; they are not invasive to pipes or lift paving, etc. And of course there are many, many varieties. - CathD
I saw this beautiful ground cover at an open house last year on the outskirts of Ballarat. If you can find it, I'd recommend it.
For hot areas of the garden, succulents are a good choice like the sedum. There are plenty of low-growing varieties that look fantastic when paired with a few larger plants. Another really popular one is blue chalk sticks - senecio mandraliscae. Succulents also have the advantage of being able to be struck, so raid your friends and families' gardens.
A couple of other suggestions - Ajuga, also known as bugleweed, is from the mint family so is very easy to grow. And star jasmine is now being used as ground cover, not just as a climber. Mondo grass was also popular for a while but it's really my cup of tea. - greygardener
There are lots of grevillea varieties that are excellent ground cover for keeping weeds at bay as well as keeping your soil intact. They can look beautiful, too. - Isobel
I have tried a few different options. So far thyme has been the fastest growing and looks lovely. Here's a photo.