Peace comes to Uluru.
The day of 26 October 2019 will mark the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) to its traditional owners, the indigenous Anangu people of the Northern Territory, Australia. But that date is now even more significant to the Anangu, since it will also be the day that climbing the monolith is finally banned.
Fear not, intrepid traveler. The ban does not mean you are no longer welcome to explore this giant sandstone marble, Australia’s most recognizable icon. It simply means that you cannot climb to the summit.
The ban is the result of a vote earlier this month by the eight-member board of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
John O’Sullivan, managing director of Tourism Australia, welcomed the decision. “It’s always been the wishes of the traditional owners that visitors to the park don’t climb to the top of Uluru, and I think that’s something both domestic and international tourists will understand and respect,” he said.
Uluru is sacred to the Anangu because they believe it was formed during the Dreamtime, when all living things were created. Indeed, the massive rock was once an ancestor who roamed Earth and created the features of the landscape. Archaeological findings indicate that humans settled the area more than 10,000 years ago. Today, Uluru is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
On Uluru, climbing conditions are steep and temperatures can be sweltering. We don’t recommend it unless serious climbing is your thing. Instead, we suggest you take a sunrise walk or ride a Harley around the base of Uluru. Ride a camel through the surrounding outback. Board a helicopter for a bird’s-eye view of both Uluru and the nearby Kata Tjutas (once called the Olgas). Or all of the above, if you’d like.
For information about a journey to Australia, call our expert, Jane Franklin, at 888-490-8019, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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