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 best Byron Bay hostels feature luxe dorms and pizza nights perfect for social travellers, while others cater to flashpackers with private rooms and pool gardens.
This hostel is just minutes from the beach, but you’ll find its tropical garden equally alluring, filled with hammocks, BBQ facilities and two bubbling hot tubs. This large hostel is the perfect place to meet people, offering mixed and female-only dorms with a shared kitchen. Mingle at the Saturday pizza night, join a movie evening or take a sunset group walk to the Cape Byron lighthouse. Nomads also has en-suite king and double rooms if you’re after more privacy.
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.
Arts Factory Lodge has been a Byron Bay landmark since the ’70s, when hippies set up the laid-back hostel. As well as bunk-bed dorms, there are teepees in the exotic garden, which also has a pool and hammocks for lazy afternoons. Don’t miss the free classes at Arts Factory Lodge, which include yoga, fire twirling or didgeridoo making. Arts Factory lies just a few minutes from Byron’s top surf beaches and sits next door to the Buddha Bar.
The Lord Byron has an up-market resort feel, right down to the full-sized tennis court, in-room Nespresso machines and poolside bar service. Located in the heart of Byron Bay near Main Beach, there’s a choice of deluxe single and queen rooms with balconies, as well as luxury two- and three-bed apartments. All guests can relish free late check-outs, soak in the jacuzzi and rent surf and paddle boards.