Jettisoning out of the ground more than 348 metres into the sky, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is now closed to climbing.
The spiritual landform of the Anangu people has been an iconic rock that many tourists attempted to climb over the years. Sadly, more than 37 people died while trying to complete the climb of this iconic rock.
The climbing ban was approved by the governing board members of the Uluru-Kata Tijuta National Park in November 2017. The closure took effect on 26 October 2019 which coincided with the 34th anniversary of Uluru being handed back to the Anangu people. Crews have already started to remove the chain link safety guard tourists followed while making the climb.
There are mixed feelings about the climbing closure from all sides of the isle. The Anangu people have argued for years that climbing Uluru was the equivalent of defacing a religious temple. The Anangu people believe Uluru is an intricate piece of their creation story and that the monolith should be protected from unnecessary erosion caused by climbers.
On the other hand, people who have climbed or want to climb Uluru believe the rock is just a rock and is there to be conquered.
In recent months Uluru has come under siege by thousands of people trying to climb the rock before the closure date. On the day of closure some 1,000 people climbed to the top amongst chants from Anangu elders not to climb on their spiritual landform which is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As of recent years less than 20% of the tourists that flocked to Uluru actually climbed to the top of this iconic landform west of the Red Centre of Northern Australia. Most visitors relish the views of the magnificent landform from a far as the monolith changes color throughout the day and during each season, many while enjoying a glass of sparkling wine on one of our Uluru tours!
Those that choose to visit on one of our tours can still undertake part of the the 10km hike which goes around the base of the rock. And another plus for travelers is that they will find a more appreciative Anangu people that want to share more of their culture with outsiders.
Just like after the Great Pyramids in Egypt were closed to climbing, there will always be somebody that wants to climb Uluru. But today’s travel industry is different with tourists looking for cultural and natural experiences. There is much to appreciate about Uluru without making the climb, so enjoy the landscape and the stories of the Anangu people.
Written by : Wayoutback on 29 October