To be honest the long flight isn't as bad as you imagine. You get tired and stressed, but really, if everything works out, it is just like a long train trip.
I had my parents in law who had never left Europe come out to Australia for Christmas and they struggled with the flight but they loved Tasmania.
If you are from Europe and can get a direct flight from a city close by to most Asian capitals, Qatar or Dubai, you are looking at 1 stopover. My advice would be to stop for a couple of days and check out a non-western country.
Then you would normally continue to Sydney or Melbourne.
If you are flying from a North or South American country you can get direct or stopovers very close to Australia (e.g. New Zealand) depending from where you are flying. about 6 years ago
The long flight is bearable but a stopover is worth the trouble. Is it worth it, you bet we are a very diverse country and remember the land mass is the same size as the USA so it is difficult to see it all. Check out Oprah's recent visit to Australia. She says she is coming back. about 6 years ago
It's worth it! (although I am biased as I live in Australia) Just flew in from Vancouver via Los Angeles this morning and even without a stopover it is totally achievable, despite travelling for over 20 hours each way.
1. Set your watch for Australian time as soon as you get on board, and try to eat/sleep/watch movies at the time you normally would.
2. Sleep ... and sleep some more. Tried sleeping tablets this time, and I dont know why it has taken me so long to try them out - well worth it if you are doing a short trip, or don't like to fly long haul.
3. Once you arrive, dump your bags and get outside - walk, go for a swim, eat and just ease your way into Australia
4. Take as much time as you can to explore Australia. If you're coming here, it's a big country and it takes time to see it (like Diane mentioned) Don't try to cover too much ground if you've only got a little bit of time. You might want to choose just a few things to do (depending on your preference - eg. surf, reef, outback, cities etc)
PS. Sounds like you don't like the take off & landing part, so if you do a direct flight, you wont have to do this so often anyway! about 6 years ago