Where to Stay in Byron Bay: Areas Guide

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I arrived in Byron Bay on a night bus from Sydney one September morning. The subtropical town had just come out of winter, so it was still jacket weather, but was starting to get warm. I remember walking down Johnson Street, ecstatic that I’d finally reached the town that I was planning on staying in for a few months. 

5 months later, and I left Byron with the heaviest of hearts. I was off on a road trip around the whole of Australia, so I couldn’t be too mad, but leaving was really really tough. 

Anyway, I’ve managed to put together my best Byron Bay travel tips over the course of the last few years. But I realised that although I’ve written about hostels in Byron Bay, I’ve never done a complete Byron Bay accommodation guide to help you decide where to stay in Byron Bay. 

So today’s the day I post just that! Even though Byron Bay is a small town, it has diverse with accommodation options and a few different neighborhoods to consider – I’ve personally stayed at a few of these hotels, but also have worked at a few (during my brief stint as a freelance cleaner…) and known people who recommended others.

If you’re wondering what the best places to stay in Byron Bay are, this post will help you figure it out!

Where to Stay in Byron Bay – the best options

If you don’t have enough time to read the whole of this post (don’t blame ya, we’re all busy, and I tend to ramble…), here is the best hostel, guesthouse, mid-range hotel and luxury hotel in the town, as selected by yours truly.

Hostel: The Arts Factory. This is the hostel that I lived in, and absolutely loved, for 5 months. There are dorm rooms and privates, and also the chance to go ‘jungle camping’. Enjoy yoga sessions, a weekly talent show, bushcraft walks and more, all in a rustic, jungle setting. Click here for more information and to book.

Budget Hotel:  Reflections Holiday Parks is right opposite the beach, so it is the perfect location for a family beach holiday. Guests can check into cabins and villas of different sizes, which are compact yet pack a lot in, like full kitchens, lounges, flat screen TVs and comfortable bedrooms – it’s like an upgraded caravan! Click here for more information. 

Mid-Range Hotel: The Lord Byron is a fresh, modern hotel with boutique-style rooms, just a short walk from all the action of the town centre. There is a swimming pool on-site – perfect for those hot Byron days! Rooms have a deluxe en-suite and bright and airy windows. Click here for more information.

Luxury Hotel: Garden Burees are self-contained apartments that offer a tranquil escape from the hustle of Byron centre, in luxury jungle surroundings. With decor inspired by Bali, these blissful apartments and studios have state-of-the-art features like tea and coffee facilities, flat-screen TVs and deluxe bathrooms – some which are even outside! Click here for rates and to reserve your spot. 

Best Areas to Stay in Byron Bay

Here’s the lowdown of the best areas to stay in Byron Bay, depending on what type of traveller you are. I’ve put together the best of my technical knowledge, which is very little, and if you click on the links below they’ll take you to the corresponding section.

  • Where to stay in Byron Bay as a backpacker: Johnson Street
  • Where to stay in Byron Bay with kids: Tallows Beach
  • Where to stay in Byron Bay in luxury accommodation: Clarkes Street
  • Where to stay in Byron Bay on a budget: Shooters Hill
  • Where to stay in Byron Bay to be in nature: Nimbin

Johnson Street – Centre

Johnson Street was where I stumbled off the Greyhound bus at 5:30am on that September morning. This is the heart of Byron Bay – if you’re spending some time here, a few of your activities will definitely take place in and around Johnson Street.

There are all sorts of bars and restaurants (including many of the best vegan restaurants in Byron Bay) here, as well as… you guessed it, lots of accommodation options. 

Pros: stay in Johnson Street to be a part of all the action and close to bars and restaurants in the evening. This makes it one of the best places to stay in Byron Bay for backpackers because there is always something going on.

Cons: it can be very busy here – and it touristy and doesn’t quite have the laid back Byron vibes that you might be looking for. If you’re looking for places to stay in Byron Bay with kids, it’s not a bad choice because its close to the main beach and many restaurants, but it’s also a bit loud at night.

Where to Stay in Johnson Street, Byron Bay

Hostel: Nomads Byron Bay Backpackers was actually the first place I stayed in Byron Bay – I checked in as soon as I arrived that September morning. It’s got modern, spacious dorms, a kitchen, social areas and jacuzzis on the terrace, and a fun backpacker-y atmosphere. Click here for rates or to reserve your spot. 

Guesthouse/ Motel: Byron Motor Lodge Hotel is in prime location right by Main Beach and the town centre, with an outdoor pool, BBQ and free parking. Rooms are en-suite, with heating and air conditioning, and appliances like a fridge, TV and kettle. Click here for more information. 

Mid-Range Hotel: The Lord Byron is a fresh, modern hotel with boutique-style rooms, just a short walk from all the action of the town centre. There is a swimming pool on-site – perfect for those hot Byron days! Rooms have a deluxe en-suite and bright and airy windows. Click here for more information.

Luxury Hotel: Beach Suites are luxury, ’boutique’ style apartments and studios which have all you need for a tranquil Byron Bay stay. Every room has a flat screen TV, DVD player, kitchenette or kitchen and a deluxe bathroom. The penthouse suites have their own private pool, while the garden suites have courtyards with BBQs. Click here for rates and more information. 

Skinners Shoot

This mainly gets a spot on the list because it’s where The Arts Factory is based – this is a really unique hostel where I lived for most of my time there. I actually lived in a tent for five months, on the hostels campsite! There are a couple of hotel options too. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Johnson Street and is close to Byron Bay’s last jungle, where the beach town meets New South Wales’ gorgeous hinterland.

Pros: it’s a lot quieter than other locations, and it’s on the edge of some really nice nature. 

Cons: it’s about a 15 minute walk to the beach, some people may feel uncomfortable walking around alone at night

Where to Stay in Skinners Shoot, Byron Bay

Hostel: The Arts Factory is where I lived for five months in Byron Bay, and as mentioned, I absolutely love this place. It might not be for everyone – the dorms aren’t state-of-the-art like the Nomads in town or Wake Up! by Belongil, but it’s got rustic charm, a friendly atmosphere, so much going on and it’s in beautiful surroundings. If you’re keen to try jungle camping, or staying in dorms in a rustic atmosphere, click here for more information.

(Note: you can’t book jungle camping online, and places are limited so it is often full on arrival. I’d recommend booking a dorm for your first night and then trying to get into the campsite the next day. You’ll need your own tent and camping supplies).

Mid-Range/ Luxury Hotel: Garden Burees are self-contained apartments that offer a tranquil escape from the hustle of Byron centre, in luxury jungle surroundings. With decor inspired by Bali, these blissful apartments and studios have state-of-the-art features like tea and coffee facilities, flat-screen TVs and deluxe bathrooms – some which are even outside! Click here for rates and to reserve your spot. 

Wategos and Tallows Beach

Beautiful Tallows beach is a surfing hotspot, is just under the lighthouse and is about a 40 minute walk from the town centre. Apart from the early morning surfers, it’s largely deserted, but has beautiful mangroves and is close to the Arakwal National Park, where there are hiking trails and it’s even possible to see koalas sometimes! There are also tea tree lakes close by as well. 

Pros: It’s great for surfers, and is nice and quiet for families.

Cons: There are no hostels and not so much cheap accommodation. It’s quite a way from the town centre, especially if walking back at night.

Where to Stay in Wategos and Tallows Beach

Mid-Range Hotel: The Watermark Apartments are luxury yet affordable apartments that are gloriously clean, with large windows giving the apartments a lot of natural light. The self-contained apartments enjoy a beachfront location, with balconies offering spectacular waterfront views. Click here for more information.

Luxury Hotel: Victoria’s at Wategos has ornate four-poster beds, with balconies overlooking the beach, the Cape Byron Lighthouse or the outdoor pool. Rooms enjoy features like a spa bath, tea/ coffee maker and a flat-screen TV. Click here to read more. 

Clarkes Beach

If you want to stay somewhere that’s close to the town centre, but far enough away that it doesn’t feel like you’re tripping over other holidayers at every step, Clarkes Beach might be your answer. It’s the best place to stay in Byron Bay for luxury hotels, as resorts have more land to build here, and there aren’t any backpacker options – I’d recommend looking at Johnson Street, Skinners Shoot or Belongil for them. But for couples and families, Clarkes Beach is a great option!

Pros: It’s a quieter area yet still close to the main town.

Cons: not really any cheap options for backpackers, although the holiday park is ideal for families.

Where to stay near Clarkes Beach

Guesthouse/ Motel: Reflections Holiday Parks is right opposite the beach, so it is the perfect location for a family beach holiday. Guests can check into cabins and villas of different sizes, which are compact yet pack a lot in, like full kitchens, lounges, flat screen TVs and comfortable bedrooms – it’s like an upgraded caravan! Click here for more information. 

Mid-Range Hotel: Cape Beach House has gorgeous, modern rooms with big windows, deluxe bedcovers and furnishings and a pool on-site. The B&B is a small family-run business, so the hosts endeavour to make every guest family. Click here for more information and to reserve. 

Luxury Hotel: Julians Apartments are self-contained apartments and studios with kitchens and luxury en-suite bathrooms, some with a terrace and balcony. Each room has facilities like an iPod dock, DVD player and both air-conditioning and heating, and furniture for the outdoor areas. Click here to read more.

Belongil

Belongil is a quieter area, located just west? Of the city centre. It’s home to a few beaches, the treehouse restaurant, tea tree lakes, and a few more rustic places to stay. It’s the perfect Byron Bay neighborhood for those who want to chill out and be out of the hubbub of the town center. 

Pros: It’s a quieter area yet still is close to Main Beach. There are options for different types of travellers, from backpackers to families to couples travelling in luxury.

Cons: It is a little bit ostracised from the rest of the town, and is a bit of a walk back from the town centre, but it’s not huge.

Where to Stay in Belongil

Hostel: Wake Up! Byron Bay opened recently and quickly rose to fame as one of Byron Bay’s favourite hostels. The dorms are bright, clean and spacious, with USB ports and lights by each beds. The hostel also features free WiFi (which isn’t so common in Aussie hostels!) , a bar and restaurant, and free activities like yoga, sunrise tours and surfboard rental are available. Click here to read more and book today.

Guesthouse/ Motel: Discovery Parks has self-contained cabins with full-size beds and functioning kitchens, as well as a terrace with balcony and outdoor furniture. For those who like living a little more rusticly, there is also the option to sleep in a jungle tent. Click here for rates and to reserve. 

Mid-Range/ Luxury Hotel: Byron Cove Beach House is just 2 minutes from Belongil Beach, with rooms with an iPod dock, flat-screen TV and free WiFi. A continental breakfast is included. Click here for more information and to reserve.

Bangalow

Inland from Byron is Bangalow; you’ll only want to stay here if you have your own transport, but it’s one of the most unique areas to stay in Byron Bay if you do. It’s got a charming, old-world atmosphere, with beautiful buildings and rolling hills as the village meets the hinterland. Staying here means you can enjoy the best waterfalls near Byron and other day trips around the town. 

Pros: It’s out in the countryside and a lot less touristy than Byron Bay.

Cons: It’s only accessible by car, being about a 20 minute drive from Byron Bay.

Where to Stay in Bangalow

Guesthouse/ Motel: Bangalow Guesthouse is a cosy B&B with suites located in a 1900s heritage property. There are also self-contained cottages with nostalgic balconies looking out onto the rustic surroundings. The room offers TVs with Netflix, iPod dock and fresh luxury linen. Click here for more information.

Mid-Range Hotel: 99 Acres Bangalow Retreat offers gorgeous rooms with plenty of bright light and a seating area. The rooms have tasteful decor and are painted in a fresh white, with en-suite luxury bathrooms with bathrobes and power showers. On-site is a refreshing swimming bool. Click here to read more. 

Nimbin

This one is 2 hours from Byron Bay, but I’d still class it as one of the best places to stay near Byron Bay (Australia is one huge country, after all, two hours is just down the road!). Nimbin is famous for one thing… weed. There’s loads of the stuff here, even though it is technically still illegal. Doesn’t seem to bother people as much though! 

However, I don’t smoke weed, and I stand by the fact that Nimbin is a great place to learn about Aboriginal culture, enjoy small town life, browse the quirky shops, eat at good restaurants, and see some beautiful nature. It’s great for backpackers and older travellers whether you want to smoke weed or not – I’d maybe avoid it if you’re travelling with kids though!

Pros: it’s out in nature, it’s a different side to New South Wales, the people are very friendly (and maybe constantly high)

Cons: constantly being around weed can be a bit tiresome, and it’s not really suitable for families. It’s also a bit disconnected from other places.

Where to Stay in Nimbin

Hostel: Nimbin Rox YHA Resort offers dorms, yurts and private rooms, a communal kitchen and TV room, a fire pit and a swimming pool. Click here for more information and to book. 

Guesthouse/ Motel: Grey Gum Lodge has air-conditioned rooms, each with a private en-suite and fridge. The property enjoys free WiFi. Click here to read more and to reserve your spot.

Mid-Range Hotel: Teretre Cabins Nimbin has self-contained cabins with en-suite rooms and kitchenettes. Rooms are compact yet feature everything you need for a comfy stay. Petst are allowed in the cabin, and WiFi is available throughout the territory. Click here for rates and to book.

Farmstay: Nimbin Waterfall Retreat is a farm stay with luxury cabins and rooms, with a sauna on site. Rooms are kitted out with gorgeous beds and flat-screen TVs. Choose the cabin option for a private bathroom and self-sustaining facilities. Click here to read more and to book. 

Where will you stay in Bryon Bay?

Hopefully this blog post about the best hotels and hostels in Byron Bay have given you an idea of where to stay here! There are so many options in this town, from hostels to guesthouses to hotels. If you need any more information about holidaying in Byron Bay, check out the blog posts below!

Or check out all of my Australia blog posts here.

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