Traditional owners and national park managers have just announced that climbing Australia’s internationally-recognised landmark, Uluru, will end.
The historic decision was arrived at after a management board meeting of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park voted unanimously to ban climbing from October 26, 2019.
Board members have asked visitors to understand the new rule, ‘a long-held request of traditional owners who said they had previously felt “intimidated” into allowing the culturally inappropriate practice to continue,’ reports The Guardian.
The Guardian also states that ‘Anangu (Indigenous people in central Australia) have long requested that visitors do not climb the rock, both because it is a deeply sacred men’s site and because of the cultural responsibility they feel over the high number of injuries and deaths’.
A sign at the base of Uluru requests that visitors do not climb the rock out of respect for the Indigenous traditional owners.
However, it also invites visitors to walk around the base of the rock and discover a deeper understanding of the area. There are many guided walks that visitors can do in the greater area around Uluru, including walks through Valley of the Winds as well as experiences watching the sun rise, and set, over Uluru.
There are just so many smaller-scale places of cultural significance which can be shared with visitors, anyone planning to visit Uluru should not feel that their experience of Australia’s red centre is diminished in any way.
Indeed, this is a proud moment of “righting a historic wrong” – a comment reported by The Guardian from the Central Land Council.