You have partied for months on end in either Cairns, Airlie Beach, Sydney or Brisbane. You have lived the city lifestyle and are feeling a little worn down and in need of some relaxation time. What you really need is a smallish town with gorgeous golden sandy beaches as well as some lively bars for the evening filled with like-minded backpackers to meet and get to know. So where are you going to go on the East Coast of Australia to get some beach action?

Well you have a choice, both Byron Bay or Noosa can check all of the boxes and yes, in fairness you could visit both. However, if you could only visit one place which would it be? Which beach paradise edges ahead of the other?

What they both have:

Amazing beaches, and plenty of them. You can take your pick of the beaches depending on what you fancy doing and both offer beaches for surfing as well as pure relaxation. Both places offer some top sea based activities from kayaking to kitesurfing.

With amazing beaches and coastlines comes inevitable sensational sunsets with outdoor bars to sit and watch the sky go from orange to black in a mere matter of seconds.

But they aren’t just beaches. Byron Bay has an impressive Hinterland to explore and the walk up to Mount Warning is becoming more and more popular. Noosa National Park is world famous and offers visitors plenty of activities to complement the pristine beaches. For backpackers, both are great gateways to some top tourist attractions; for example Nimbin from Byron Bay and Australia Zoo from Noosa.

What Byron Bay has to offer:
  1. The very impressive Lighthouse…
  2. and the walk to the Cape is a firm favourite amongst visitors and the swim around it is a firm favourite for dolphins, turtles and rays.
  3. Whales – Humpback whales often hang out in the Bay for a little while as part of their migration to Hervey Bay, quite similar to backpackers in fact.
  4. Fantastic Bars – A quiet night in does not exist if you don’t want it to. Some of the best bands in Australia play here – Live music in Byron Bay is quite often unrivalled and the small hippy town attracts some of the best and most eclectic bands around.
  5. Charley Boorman loves the The Arts Factory Lodge. It’s not a real reason but still counts in Byron Bay’s favour.
things to do in byron bay lighthouse
Byron Bay Lighthouse


What Noosa has to offer:
  1. A little bit of luxury. Walking through Noosa is like walking through the Florida Keys, you won’t feel like a backpacker, you will feel like you are on holiday.
  2. Camels – You can ride a camel along the beach. Pretty random but still we love a bit of randomness.
  3. The National Park is spectacular, if you like nature come here. Not only can you spot lots of wildlife, the coastal walk is beautiful too.
  4. Not everybody goes there – If you want to visit somewhere that not everybody has been to over the last 20 years then give it a try. For backpackers Noosa is an awesome up and coming place to be.
noosa everglades
Noosa Everglads

Having visited both places it is a tough call and if you have the time I would give both a try, there is no such thing as too much time on a beach. Byron Bay’s uniqueness and Noosa’s resort vibe are really hard to compare, although the Daiquari hour in Noosa might give it an edge.

Let us know what you think? If you just had to sit on beach for a week where would it be, Byron Bay or Noosa?

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