Uluru climbing ban from 2019

Casey Dawson
November 2, 2017

A sign at the base of Uluru urges visitors to reconsider climbing the sacred site, explaining it is not permitted under traditional law.

"Please don't hold us to ransom", a traditional owner of Uluru, Sammy Wilson, said.

Climbing Uluru is set to be a thing of the past after the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board decided unanimously to ban the activity, starting in 2019.

The date the climb will close, October 26, 2019, will be 34 years to the day since Uluru was given back to the traditional owners.

It's within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta formation.

"If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don't enter or climb it, I respect it".

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

The closure should not come as too much of a surprise; the park's most recent management plan states that the climb will be "permanently closed when the proportion of visitors climbing falls below 20 per cent".

"The path left by rubber from the soles of climbers' shoes is visible from kilometres away and some tourists leave litter and damage the rock".

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

While there have been concerns over the ban's impact on tourism, the number of visitors who climb Uluru have steadily dropped, largely thanks to increased awareness and education.

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