As I've mentioned before, Stef and I spent two and a half months backpacking up the East Coast of Australia and hitting up Thailand for a month as well! Byron Bay, NSW by far had to be my favorite place we visited. The town itself has worked hard on keeping it non-commercialized for the most part. There isn't a McDonald's in sight! Needless to say the vibe you feel there is incredibly laid back and everyone is so friendly.
We hitch hiked from Ballina, New South Wales to get to our first hostel, Nomads, which was definitely a party hostel. The kind where your roommates are getting frisky in the squeaky bunk bed next to you.. not so relaxing in my opinion. We walked around that night to find another hostel, one that looked much more inviting to us, and early next morning we were en route to Holiday Village Backpackers. There our roommates were more relaxed, the staff was amazing and so helpful and the vibe was much more enjoyable. This is where we fell in love with Byron Bay. Our plan was to stay only 4-5 days at the most, we ended up staying for 10! Our days included bike riding, hiking to the lighthouse, hanging out on the beach and drinking Goon at night with the other travelers in our hostel! (Goon is super cheap box wine travelers can buy because everything else is so expensive and it's super easy to transport.)
Byron Bay is the definition of what a happy surfer town is. We met tons of cool people, some that we continued our travels with and that we still keep in touch with today. So if you're looking for the perfect place to travel, consider Byron Bay. It's small but most definitely worth it. Who knows, maybe one day I will be living there instead of frigid cold Winnipeg and you can all come visit!