Byron Bay is a well-trodden stop on Australia’s east-coast backpacker trail, home to sandy surfer beaches, a thriving wellness scene and one-of-a-kind hostels. Some of the Bay’s best hostels feature luxe dorms and pizza nights perfect for social travellers, while others cater to flashpackers with private rooms and pool gardens.
The free evening meals and Sunday afternoon BBQs by the pool are a big draw at Aquarius. There’s also a TV lounge and chilled bar which hosts DJs, trivia nights and karaoke sessions, as well as less conventional jelly wrestling competitions. Choose from private rooms, suites or dorms; each comes with its own en-suite bathroom. Aquarius enjoys a star location in the centre of Byron Bay, only 150 metres (500ft) from Main Beach.