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Fears grow for backpacker missing in NSW

The search for a Belgian teenager missing in Byron Bay has shifted toward a beach on the edge of the popular NSW tourist town.

Friends are worried "something stopped" 18-year-old Theo Hayez after he was last seen leaving the Cheeky Monkey's bar about 11pm on Friday, May 31.

The young traveller appeared to be headed toward his accommodation at the Wake Up! hostel north of town where his passport and belongings were later found untouched.

Friend Michael Dorkhom says Theo has been identified in more CCTV footage from Byron Bay's main street in the minutes after he left the bar.

Mr Hayez's final known activity is believed to be when he sent a message to another friend in Belgium after midnight.

"It seems like he was still happy where he was at that time, so he might've met someone on the way to the backpackers or decided to go and lay on the beach for a bit, we don't know," Mr Dorkhom wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

"Something must've stopped him on the way to the backpackers since he would've reached (it) around 11.30pm on the Friday if he just had kept walking."

Mr Hayez hasn't used his mobile phone or made any financial transactions since the evening he disappeared, prompting "grave concerns" for his welfare, a NSW Police spokeswoman told AAP on Tuesday.

Mobile phone records helped investigators narrow the search area east of the Byron Bay CBD, and in and around bushland to the northeast, earlier this week.

But on Tuesday the search shifted to Belongil Beach, which is across the road from the backpackers' accommodation.

A GoFundMe page launched on Monday collected more than $12,000 in 12 hours to help fund search efforts.

"A few days before his disappearance Theo told us he could not wait to come back to Belgium," the fundraiser page states.

"I travelled with Theo from Alice Springs to Darwin, I hope with all my heart that you will find him," one donor wrote.

Mr Hayez planned to spend eight months in Australia with Byron Bay the final leg of his journey, according to the fundraiser page.

He was supposed to travel to Melbourne before returning home to Belgium this week.

The search involves NSW Police, the SES, the Westpac Life Saver Helicopter, Surf Life Saving and Marine Rescue volunteers.

© AAP 2019

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