Ecological restoration projects are motivated by diverse environmental and social reasons. Motivations likely vary between stakeholders or regions, and influence the approach taken to plan, implement, and monitor restoration projects. We surveyed 307 people involved in the restoration of native vegetation across Australia to identify their underlying motivations. We also elicited information on planning, implementation, and monitoring of restoration projects. We found that biodiversity enhancement is the main motivation for undertaking restoration, with biodiversity offsetting, water quality improvements, and social reasons as important secondary motivations. Motivations varied significantly by stakeholder type and region. Restoration projects primarily motivated by ecosystem service provision (e.g. water quality improvements and social reasons) sought less pristine ecological outcomes than projects motivated by biodiversity enhancement or offsetting. Rigorous monitoring designs (e.g. quantitative, repeatable surveys, and use of performance indicators) were rarely used in restoration projects, except for projects motivated by scientific research. Better alignment of different restoration motivations with the planning and monitoring of restoration projects should deliver greater benefits through setting appropriate objectives and evaluating outcomes against these objectives. These improvements will increase the capacity of the restoration practice to meet international biodiversity commitments and communicate restoration outcomes to stakeholders.