So there you have it folks. It’s all done. The last pair of hiking boots should be stepping off of Uluru right about now. About bloody time.
The decision to ban climbing on Uluru was made almost two years ago, and the last few months have seen tourists swarming to the sacred site like march flies to a dead wombat. In fact, people have even flown across the world, just to make it in time to climb the ancient rock for the last time.
Earlier today high winds threatened to prevent the opening of the rock, but Rangers declared it safe to climb, one final time, as hundreds of people queued at the base hoping to make it up and back by 4:00pm.
It’s a momentous day, made even more significant by the fact that the ban, officially beginning on October 26th, coincides with the day the title deed of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was handed back to the Anangu people by Governor-General of Australia, Sir Ninian Stephen, in 1985.
There has been much debate in the last few months between Aboriginal and non-Aborignal Australians, as to whether climbing the rock can be done while still respecting the Traditional Owners. Tourists, politicians and the Anangu have all weighed in, but the final curtain has finally been drawn today.
From tomorrow, anyone caught climbing Uluru will face a fine anywhere between $630 to $10,000. Yikes. Not worth it man, there are plenty of other ways to admire this big beautiful rock that don’t disrupt the ecosystem or disrespect the sanctity of this sacred place.
Feature photo by @mitch.cox
There’s more than one way to enjoy the outback