The victim has been named locally as Mia Ayliffe-chung.
Miss Ayliffe-Chung, 21, had been travelling around Australia, and had previously studied childcare at Buxton College and psychology at Chesterfield College in the UK.
Friends have begun to pay tribute to the woman described as “truly beautiful”.
Kyle Godwin wrote: “Today the world has lost one of the most beautiful young women to ever walk this planet.
“Today I lost a best friend. A girl like no other, one of the happiest, full of energy, delightful, energetic and hilarious girl I’ve come across.
“Even though I’ve only known you for a short amount of time it feels like we have been best friends for years, we just seemingly clicked and were like two peas in a pod.
“I will miss you forever Mia. The only good news to come from this is that heaven has truly gained a beautiful soul.”
Miss Ayliffe-Chung was killed at the Home Hill Hostel, north Queensland, Australia, last night in front of 30 horrified onlookers.
A 30-year-old British man named Tom Jackson has been left fighting for his life in hospital while a dog was also stabbed to death, according to Australian media.
A local man, 46, was also taken to hospital with a stab wound to the leg but he has now been released.
Miss Ayliffe-Chung went to Ecclesbourne School in Duffield, Derbyshire, before moving to Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth, Matlock, in Year 9.
Miss Ayliffe-Chung, who called herself Mimi, had been working as a waitress at The Bedroom nightclub in Surfers Paradise for the last six months.
She left the Gold Coast for Townsville 10 days ago to start farm work to allow her to extend her working holiday visa.
Paying tribute to Miss Ayliffe-Chung, Paul Lovatt, the Head of Pastoral Care at Anthony Gell School, said: “Everyone at the school is shocked and saddened at the news that Mia has lost her life in the most tragic of circumstances.
“We knew Mia as a student with so much joy and energy who was well-liked by her friends and teachers.
“She joined our school in Year 9 and flourished here both in making strong friendships and in achieving high level GCSEs.
“Mia was a bubbly student who was energetic, caring and who immersed herself in life, enriching the school environment she contributed to.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this most difficult of times.”
Zoe Atkinson, 22, said she was proud of her backpacker friend who had a passion of always “standing up for what she he felt was right”.
Miss Atkinson, who lives in Matlock, Derbyshire, said: “Mia was the most fun live wire you could ever come across.