Tourists are flocking to Uluru to climb the ancient monolith before the activity is banned for good this October, and they are causing all sorts of chaos in the process from trespassing to dumping rubbish.
In recent months, there has been an influx of tourists scaling the world heritage-listed site, despite the Anangu traditional owners pleading with visitors to respect to the rock’s cultural value by not climbing it.
Images are emerging this week of the overcrowded rock, scenes that look awfully similar to images that were circulating a few months ago of climbers snaking their way up a heavily congested Mount Everest.
A friend of mine is down at Uluru at the moment & sent me this picture – saying it’s the busiest they’ve seen it, & there’s cars parked either side of the road for about 1km leading up to the car park at the base. pic.twitter.com/3cGQVUTYHd
— Katrina Beavan (@katrina_beavan) July 10, 2019
Three months out from the climbing ban, there are serious concerns that this surplus of people climbing the rock could do permanent damage.
According to reports by the ABC, the many tourists rushing to climb the rock isn’t the only concern. Accommodation is running out as well.
Not only is the resort at Yulara booked out, but so is the overflow campground and the roadhouses. As a result, tourists are choosing to camp illegally on the side of the highway.
The Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation, based in western Sydney, claimed on Facebook people were defecating and urinating on Uluru.
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Didn’t know what else to say because NAIDOC week has come and gone but an absolute lack of empathy remains in our culture. Ignoring the wish of elders to go on your hike and leave trash behind in a place of spiritual significance is no way to see Australia. Uluru is not your Everest, you don’t need to conquer it.
A post shared by Carla Scotto (@carladrawz) on
People who climb Uluru are not just disrespectful, they are spiritually bankrupt. If you can't feel how sacred this place is by standing at its base, or you feel it and choose to ignore it, there is something deeply wrong with you.
— Amy McQuire (@amymcquire) July 11, 2019
Where is "we need to protect religious freedom" crowd?
Shouldn't they be outraged by this? https://t.co/ACnz9f1zLx
— Nathan mudyi Sentance (@SaywhatNathan) July 10, 2019
Much of the illegal camping is actually considered trespassing and has seen tourists dumping “piles of rubbish” and waste around their campsite and lighting illegal fires.
When news that climbing Uluru would be banned broke back in 2017, chair of the board of management of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park Sammy Wilson reminded people of the environmental and cultural significance of the Uluru, saying the sacred rock was not Disneyland.
This is a message that some tourists to the area should take note of right now.
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