Byron Bay is an essential stop on any Australian backpacking trip. Think sizzling surf beaches, a thriving bar scene and a hippy vibe characterised by yoga studios and vegan eateries. With hostels near Belongil Beach to Main Beach, here are the seven best places for backpackers to stay.
Set up by hippies in the ‘70s, Arts Factory Lodge is one of Byron Bay’s most famous backpacker haunts. It sits in a tropical garden where you can lounge by the pool, swing in a hammock or play some table tennis. Just a few minutes’ walk from town and the bay’s top surf beaches, Arts Factory Lodge offers bunk-bed dorms, jungle camping and tepees. Catch live performances at the neighbouring Byron Bay Brewery and don’t miss the free didgeridoo making, fire twirling and yoga classes.
Wake Up! is a modern backpackers hostel on Belongil Beach, just north of the town centre. Expect minimalist decor with a kitchen and spacious common areas that encourage travellers to hang out. Rooms have a seaside theme with shared bathrooms, and there is an on-site Tree House Bar and Restaurant for meals. Take advantage of the free surfboards, bikes and stand-up paddle boards. Wake Up! also runs a host of social activities including free pancake Sundays, yoga and sunrise lighthouse trips.
Stay at Aquarius Backpackers if you want to save money as the hostel provides free evening meals and a Sunday afternoon BBQ. Combine that with a killer location in the centre of town, 150 metres (500ft) from Main Beach, and you’re onto a winner. Chill out in the TV lounge or by the pool and mix with fellow backpackers in the bar, where you’ll find DJs, trivia nights, karaoke and even jelly wrestling. Each dorm room has its own en-suite bathroom, or you can pay more for private rooms and fancy suites.
For something a bit different, check into the Byron Bay Beach Hostel, which is set in a Heritage Listed council chambers building. Completed in 2017, the hotel also lies just 100 metres (330ft) from a historic meeting place for indigenous people. Inside, you’ll find a chic hostel with terraces and common spaces to mingle with other guests, four-to-six-berth dorms with privacy curtains and separate queen rooms. Byron Bay Beach Hostel is close to Main Beach and has its own rooftop bar and café serving local brews and pizza.
Whether you’re travelling on a shoestring or have a flashpacker budget, Nomads Byron Bay has a room to suit, with superior en-suite kings, private doubles and mixed or female-only dorms. This big, social hostel is just three minutes from the beach and has a stellar outdoor area with decking, hammocks and two huge hot tubs. Enjoy the free breakfast and BBQ facilities, a communal kitchen as well as pizza and live music on Saturdays. Activities include a sunset lighthouse walk and movies in the cinema lounge or outdoor courtyard.
For that real east coast experience, stay at Backpackers Inn where you can wander from your room through sand dunes directly onto the beach. This surf-shack-style hostel is set in gardens dotted with hammocks and picnic tables, yet is just 500 metres (1/3mi) from the street. Backpackers Inn has been hosting guests in dorms and private rooms since the ‘70s and has a surf camp, beach volleyball court, pool, BBQ area and outdoor cinema. One of its star attractions is the courtyard with lanterns and a huge poolside fig tree.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.