THE former Australian boyfriend of the British backpacker stabbed to death in Queensland says he is "truly devastated" by her death.

Northern Beaches photographer Jamison Stead met Mia Ayliffe-Chung - who was killed after the stabbing frenzy in Home Hill, south of Townsville - on the Gold Coast in April.

In a statement released today, he said she had fallen in love with Australia, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.

"Mia was a beautiful soul who was always looking out for people," he said.

"Mia was a girl who lived life as spontaneously as possible. She had a passion for life and it was contagious if you knew her.

"I can't quite get my head around what's happened. (I'm) truly devastated, more just disbelief that this has happened. It's something you hear about but never think that it would happen to someone you were close to."

Mr Stead said he last saw the bubbly waitress the night before she left the Gold Coast, on August 16.

The 21-year-old had planned to spend three months working on a sugar cane farm near Townsville in order to facilitate the extension of her working holiday visa.

She had been there just more than a week when she was killed.

Mr Stead has added two pictures of himself with the 21-year-old Brit on Facebook and wrote "Rest in peace Mia. Thank you for the memories".

It's one of many emotional messages that has poured in for the young woman from Derbyshire, who was stabbed to death at Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill, south of Townsville, on Tuesday evening.