Australia Bans Climbing A Sacred Heritage Site

The traditional landowners, the Anangu, have always refused to climb Uluru and consider it sacred.

One of the landowners, Sammy Wilson, said, 'It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland'.

M - Uluru will be closed to climbers after the board of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park voted to close the climb to the summit of the rock, Sidney Morning Herald said.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park board asked visitors to understand the new rule as upholding a long-held request of the Anangu - indigenous Australians - who felt that they were "intimidated" into allowing climbers to use the rock for recreational purposes.

Uluru now has around 300,000 visitors each year.

The entirety of Uluru is a sacred area and the site where the climb begins is also a sacred men's area.


Now the park management says there has been "a significant reduction" in climbers, and that the time has come to make the policy change.

He added: "Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration".

A park board made up of a majority of the traditional owners of the land where the rock - which used to be known as Ayers Rock - stands made the decision. "Let's come together; let's close it together", he said. According to Parks Australia, the climb is the traditional route taken by Mala on their arrival at Uluru, and the path is of great significant to Anangu.

At least 37 people have died attempting to climb the rock since records of fatalities began in the 1950s.

The board had announced in 2010 that it would close the climb once the number of visitors to Uluru who had defied the wishes of the traditional owners fell below 20%.

  • Tracy Klein