Thousands climb Uluru as ban draws near

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 18 October 2019

A ban on people climbing Uluru will take effect on Saturday 26 October. As the date draws closer, tourists are flooding the area to climb the famous giant red monolith, previously known as Ayers Rock, in Australia.

All hotels close to Uluru are close to 100% full, according to Australian online news network,

The board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park voted to end the climb in 2017 because of the spiritual significance of the site to the indigenous people. However, since the announcement, visitor numbers have increased.

After the announcement in 2018, the park received an increase of 70,000 visitors from the previous year. Statistics for this year’s visitor numbers have not been released yet.

In June 2019 the BBC reported that photos were circulating online showing ‘lines of people snaking up Uluru, with some social media users comparing it to recent scenes on Mount Everest‘.

Currently, the last surge has climbers taking the opportunity each morning, as hiking up the 348m-high rock is only allowed between 7am–8am.


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Seeing that between 300 and 500 people climb in the allotted hour each day, park ranger Greg Elliot, said ‘This year is another step up in the craziness scale’.

Speaking to AFP reporters, the ranger, who’s had to rescue visitors injured while climbing, experienced what he has called ‘climb fever’. ‘It causes us a lot more work, this is too much, we can’t do our jobs at the moment and have got so much work we should be doing out in the park, maintenance we don’t get to because we have to focus on this.’

‘It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland,’ said Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board chairperson, Sammy Wilson, when the ban was announced.

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