Michael and Charlie at Sugarloaf Rock. Credit Husbands That Travel

When Charlie Douty and Michael Kabourakis set up their Instagram page @husbands.thattravel in 2021, it was based more on their own vigour for travel than an exercise in advocacy.

But as their followers swelled in numbers to upwards of 40k people (now 138k), they realised that there was an urgent need for LGBT+ visibility in travel media.

Charlie and Michael travelled through the Margaret River Region and were overwhelmed with the welcoming response they had from accommodation providers and tour operators.

“In some places in rural Australia, we might not feel safe to hold hands in public, or one person might need to go and check into the accommodation while the other waits in the car,” says Charlie. “In the Margaret River Region, we never hesitated to be ourselves or felt anxious or nervous expressing our feelings.”

For many people, the freedom to be yourself in public is something taken for granted. Most travellers can kiss, hug or show affection to a loved one with ease. But for LGBTQ+ travellers, these are the rather unnerving but deeply real discussions that need to be had when choosing a travel destination.

To make LBGTQ+ travellers more visible, and to shine a light on their own positive experiences and the generous folks they have met along the way, the couple created their own website and have written an LGBTQ+ Welcoming Itinerary for people travelling to the Margaret River Region. Their advocacy is bold, brave, vulnerable – and absolutely necessary.

Read on for their recommendations, and we hope with Charlie and Michael’s guide you can feel the same sense of freedom here, as they did.

All photos courtesy of Michael and Charlie from Husbands That Travel. 

Bina Maya Yallingup Escape. Credit Husbands That Travel
Bina Maya Yallingup Escape.

Suggested Accommodation

Bina Maya Yallingup Escape

Who would know that Scandinavian architecture surrounded by Western Australian bush would work so seamlessly. We highly recommend Bina Maya for guests travelling in groups. There’s a lot of room to spread out in this luxury setting, and our host Sarah made us feel very welcomed and comfortable. Sarah even added photos of us onto the Bina Maya Instagram account which we felt was a genuine act of inclusiveness.

Petit Eco Cabin at Window's Estate

This place is the perfect couple’s retreat. It’s a stunningly well-thought-out version of a tiny home, surrounded by vineyards, farmland and trees. Jo, our host, was incredibly understanding and keen to support and promote gay travellers publicly. She even invited Tourism Australia to include us as talent in a photo campaign which was a big statement. Another point of pride was the wine at their on-site organic winery Windows Estate – now one of our favourite wineries in Australia!

Margaret River Guest House

The vibe at the Margaret River Guest House was like a big warm hug. With the simple act of gathering everyone together, our host Lisa created a very homely feeling. The accommodation itself is very much quintessential Margaret River in vibe – with farmhouse wrap around verandas, architraves, and French windows on the homestead, and well-cared for gardens. It’s conveniently located walking distance to restaurants and cafes on Margaret River’s main street. Both of us felt like we were at our Nanna’s house it was so comfortable.

Margaret River Gourmet Glamping

After reading an article about us in the ABC (where we were championing diversity in tourism), Kellie Tannock from Margaret River Gourmet Glamping invited us to stay at her Gourmet Glamping Tent retreat. She’s a smart, progressive and supportive ally, pushing the boundaries in both sustainable tourism and promoting diverse travellers. The glamping tents were a real treat with an antique bush bath, copper outdoor shower, and campfire all set up within a pleasing grassy expanse. Kellie’s knowledge on locally produced food is also a source of inspiration for any travelling foodies.

Karridale Cottages & Hop Farm

For LGBTQ+ travellers wanting to experience seclusion and privacy, Karridale Cottages is a lovely option. The cottages are located a bit off the beaten path between Margaret River and Augusta. They are eco-friendly, with outdoor baths and surrounded by bush. The accommodation is also well priced for those travelling on a budget and a great base for exploring the southern tip of the Cape, with places like Hamelin Bay and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse just a short drive away.

Advice from a Local

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