Find out why Australia is ending the chapter on climbing Uluru for good!

Trekking up Australia’s iconic red rock has been on many tourist’s bucket lists for decades. Undoubtedly one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks, with the experience of climbing and snapping photo at the top said to be extraordinary experience. However, as great as this experience may be, the cons of climbing Uluru enormously outweigh it.

Leading to the Australian government officially banning any climbing of Uluru in October 2019. Still upset by this decision? Follow our guide on the reasons why banning climbing on Uluru is actually a great decision!

It is a Sacred Site

Climbing Uluru should be in the same category of thought as climbing a church. It is a sacred site for the Traditional owners of the land, the Anangu People. Being a significant site for this community for at least 60, 000 years. It is seen as a resting place for past spirits and ancestors, as well as landmark for spiritual rituals. The Anangu people continued to express their sadness in those who climbed Uluru for years before it officially became illegal, as they stated it was a desecration of one of their most sacred sites.

It Destroys the Environment

Over the years when tourists continuing to climb Uluru, the millions of footprints along the rock caused serve harm to the environment. The path up Uluru remained the same for years, with the climbing path slowly becoming eroded and changing the complete face of Uluru. Waste also became a huge issue, as climbers have used the rock as both a rubbish bin and a bathroom, causing an extreme amount of waste overload. When rainfall came to the region, this waste washed down to the nearby river and watering holes, poisoning the water and killing numerous plants and animals.

It Dangerous to climb Uluru

Climbing the Uluru may seem like a fun and adventurous tourist activity, but it is also a dangerous one, with countless injuries and over 37 deaths since the 1950s. The most recent death was in 2018 when a 76-year-old Japanese man fell to his death when climbing to the top of the rock.

How you can see it Safely and Unoffensively

Climbing Uluru isn’t the only way to see this incredible red rock! There are set up lookout points, which allow visitors the greatest viewpoint of Uluru. Many of these points are available at sunrise and sunset, to give viewers at exceptional sight when the glowing sun enhances the red rock even more. If you would rather a more up-close view, you can take a base route around Uluru, walking beside the rock and seeing the surrounding wildlife on your way. If you are up for spending a little bit more cash, you can even hop on a helicopter flight and see the Uluru from a glorious birds eye view!

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Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward began with a passion for travel and turned it into a thriving tourism business. He co-founded Sightseeing Tours Australia after starting out as a tour guide in Melbourne. Cameron delights in helping visitors get the most from their trip to Australia. Whether he's leading tours or writing about his favourite places, Cameron loves sharing his local insight with fellow travellers.

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