Huge crowds rush to climb Uluru before ban kicks in

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Uluru climb ban imminent
Huge numbers of people have been climbing Uluru. PIC: Reddit

With the ban on climbing Uluru set to come into effect later this month, huge crowds have been rushing to ascend the iconic monolith.

Climbing will be officially banned on October 26, timed to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to its traditional owners. The date has been finalised for almost two years.

Footage uploaded to social media last week saw massive numbers waiting to climb, with big queues forming at the base of the rock.

The massive sandstone rock formation in the Northern Territory is important to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people and forms part of their understanding of how the world was created. For years people have been told not to climb the site because it’s viewed as a desecration of a precious site – but tourists have done it anyway.

Parks Australia – which holds jurisdiction over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – said 87% of the park’s visitors chose not to climb Uluru.

“The school holiday period at this time of year contributes to the increase in visitor numbers and we’re seeing a lot of self-drive visitors to Uluru at the moment,” a spokesman recently told  “Just as we want people to look after the World Heritage values of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, we also encourage people to respect the broader region and not to camp illegally or dump rubbish.”

The climb at Uluru is very steep at an elevation of 863 metres. Some 37 climbers have died at the site since record keeping began, with the last recorded death in 2018

Ironically, some would-be climbers aren’t sure it is worth the effort

One person on Reddit wrote that they went to Uluru two years ago and chose not to climb.

“As our guide so wisely said: ‘the rock is what you’ve come to see, in the middle of nowhere … all there is to see from the top is the nothing that surrounds’.”

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7 Responses to Huge crowds rush to climb Uluru before ban kicks in

  1. My mate and I climbed the rock in July 1992 and it is something I will never forget .Our wives only climbed to chicken rock.
    I remember how windy it was. A little Japanese bloke was leaning into the wind and was nearly horizontal. That same chap climbed up with his bike. As someone has commented, there is lots of nothing out there but it is a sight being able to see all 360deg from the top.

  2. I’ve climbed the rock twice
    The Rock belongs to all Australians.
    Ban the ban

  3. They ask you not to climb, so I don’t understand why people don’t respect that. My husband and I visited Uluru, we didn’t climb the rock, and I don’t feel that this detracted from our visit at all,

  4. We traveled to Uluru in mid August from Bargara Qld.
    My husband climbed the rock all the way to the top , a great feat for a 55yr old, one to tick of his bucket list .I on the other hand only managed 3/4 up the chain before I sat on the rock waiting for my husband to return as he had the backpack with everything in it. We are glad we did it ,.Uluru truley is a amazing place .

  5. Interesting comment by the ‘Guide’. Having climbed the Uluru in the mid nineties I will always remember the absolute awe of looking out on our beautiful country from such a special place. The so called nothingness is gorgeous, the Olgas are distinctive as is the sense of how mighty nature is. I have no desire to climb again but was able to feel the connection at that time. Whether you do climb or not is your own decision and for me it brought greater significance and connection which has contributed to my desire to travel and experience our beautiful country. Travel safe. Peta.

  6. You say that at the top all you see is nothing that surrounds it, well I don’t know where your looking but when I got to the top the veiw was unbelievable. Your kidding yourselves, I’m glad I got to see it

  7. I believe all Australians who are able and want too should be allowed to climb the rock.
    Respect for country…well don’t get me going on that..!
    Open your eyes when visiting or passing remote communities…and I’m not racist…It’s just a fair point of view and freedom of speech and for what I know and have seen.

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