Tourists rush to climb Uluru before hiking ban

Posted by Christi Nortier on 15 July 2019

Uluru will be closed to hikers from 26 October 2019 to protect the sacred site from further damage by visitors. However, the ban has caused a surge in hiker numbers.

Previously called Ayers Rock, Uluru has always been a scared site for the Anangu, who have been living in Central Australia for more than 30,000 years.

‘Uluru and Kata Tjuta were formed and shaped by our creation ancestors. In their travels, they left marks in the land and made laws for us to keep and live by. Please respect this knowledge and open your minds and hearts so you can fully appreciate our enduring culture,’ reads the official Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park website.

In 1985, after more than 35 years of campaigning, the federal government handed back the title deeds to the Anangu. They then signed an agreement leasing the land back to the Australian Parks and Wildlife Service for 99 years in order to jointly manage the park.

In 2017, the park board voted unanimously to ban the climbing of the rock to protect it from more damage because it has such spiritual significance.

At least 35 people have died since the 1950s while attempting the steep 300-metre ascent under the blistering sun and relying on old safety chains.

The ban will come into effect on the 34th anniversary of the land handover.

Visitors have flocked to the site ahead of the ban to climb the rock while they still have the chance. In 2017, 140 people climbed it every day. Now, up to 500 people have been attempting it a day.

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Quite a traffic jam of people climbing Uluru in the last weeks when it's still possible. On October 26, the ban on climbing Uluru comes into effect, which coincides with the 34th anniversary of Uluru’s handback to its traditional owners, the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people. . . #australiagram #aussie_images #aussielife #polishtravelblogs #polishtraveller #wpodrozy #polacywpodrozy #pieknewidoki #beautifulaustralia #australiaguide #blogipodroznicze #backpackerguideaussie #przygoda #instatraveller #insta_travel #australiamustdo #kochampodroze #travelphotography #travelbloggers #ig_australia #australiaphotography #travelaustralia #krajobrazy #podroznik #roadtrip #uluru #northernterritory #outback #aboriginalaustralia #redcentre

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Unfortunately there are now human traffic jams, overflowing rubbish and septic tanks as well as illegal camping sites in the area as visitors arrive in droves in camper vans and RVs.

The surrounding campsites are booked to capacity, so those who arrive without a booking tend to set up an illegal campsite on the protected land next to roads or bush tracks.

Visitors can still enjoy the beauty and atmosphere of Uluru once the ban takes effect. They can hike or bike for 9.4 km around the rock, fly over it in a helicopter and learn about its significance at the Uluru-Kata National Park’s Cultural Centre.

Feature image: Jacqueline Wales.

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