Skip Navigation

1. Posted by drdrjones (Full Member 18 posts) 10y

Hi,

I just wanted to get people's views on Uluru (Ayers Rock)...
It obviously has a drawing towards it, but I specifically wanted to find out what people make of climbing up to the top...

When I get there I'm in two minds as to what to do - You are permitted to go up to the top, but it is frowned upon by the aborigines which I'm strongly taking into consideration.

It's a dilema about whether to do something for one time only in your life, or respect the locals beliefs. What do you all think?

Chris :)

2. Posted by gezred (Budding Member 53 posts) 10y

This is an extract off the Lonely planet site:

'But when I made my way out to the rock on Tuesday, the climbing entrance area was cordoned off and the chain-path was closed - clearly, strictly, no exceptions allowed. Signs stated that due to the death of the elder, climbing was not being permitted at this time. A park ranger explained that the elder had been a member of the Mala tribe that was traditionally responsible for the ancient path the climbing route follows, and that the path was closed as part of the practices associated with the period of mourning.

Most of the visitors around me seemed to accept this, but a few were outraged. 'What the bloody hell is this all about?' one Aussie said to me. 'I'm just gonna go tomorrow and bolt up the hill, mate - what can they do?'

And I overheard a Brit turn to his group and mutter, 'We've come all the way around the world for this?'

Over the next few days news reports said that tourists had begun to complain about the closure of the climb and to agitate for it to be opened again'

I cannot believe this... this is single minded selfish idiot TOURISTS at it again... show some respect for these aborigines, it's NOT your right to do whatever you want just because you have paid to get there.

Phew, said my peace, I feel really strongly about this.

Lynz x

P.S. google earth shows a really good view of it!

3. Posted by johnnyr (Budding Member 17 posts) 10y

For me climbing on the top was the most awe inspiring thing I did in
Australia, and it should not be denied by anyone. People compare it other religous sites, but to me if this is a sacred site, why did they build a road within 20 metres of the rock??? The only reason they gave at the cultural centre for why not to climb, was because the aborigines would be upset if you fall and hurt yourself.I am aware that certain things are disrespectful, this did not strike me as that. To be honest though it is down to you, I made a judgement when I got there, I didn't know if I was going to do it on the way. It just seemed right that its my choice, it was the perfect end to my own personal pilgrimage. Regret it? Absolutely not.

4. Posted by drdrjones (Full Member 18 posts) 10y

Thanks for your post Lynz. I know what you mean about the morality of it. I was thinking about it, and it reminded me of when I was in the Jewish sector in Prague... There were signs all around the memorial building asking people not to take pictures of the thousands of names (of Czech Jews who had died in the Holocaust) written on the walls, but some idiots just didn't take any notice! Really bugged me, but they weren't gonna understand if I complained at them...

I'm happy to travel thousands of miles to see Ayers Rock - I don't need to stand on top of it to appreciate it.

5. Posted by grannelly (Budding Member 31 posts) 10y

Hey I went to Uluru in October. I didn't climb uluru. my tour guide was against it, and quite rightly. And it is practically avertical climb. Walking around Uluru was enogu, just looking at the rock and all the erosion that has occured over the years. And you can still take sum pics of certain bits of the rock. Watchin the sun rise and set on the rock was a great experience. Hope this helps, Neil.

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4811 posts) 10y

Quoting grannelly

And it is practically avertical climb.

Heh, I thought the opposite ("is that all? I could run up that without even breathing hard"). Didn't climb as it was closed due to the heat when I was there, and I was ill the next morning and thus didn't consider it wise to even try and wake up before sunrise to go and do it, but given other circumstances, I probably would've. In my thinking, it is allowed, and only really a problem for them if some sort of accident happens, as they then feel responsible. So if I were in bad health (as I was), wasn't very fit, had never done much mountain climbing or would for some other reason be more likely to be "at risk", I would refrain from trying to climb, but otherwise I'd go for it. To put it overly crudely; it's my life, my responsibility, and their religion doesn't impact that.
Respectively, they've specifically disallowed photography of a number of sacred sites, and that's something that I'll adhere to without thinking twice.

Think of it as the difference between "swim between the red flags" and "private property, no tresspass". The first I'm likely to ignore (if it's a quiet day, and I'm not endangering anyone by doing so), the second I won't.

7. Posted by JulesB (Budding Member 8 posts) 10y

When i went to Uluru in Oct it was closed because it was too hot to climb but i don't think i would have anyway! There is a great base walk round Uluru which only took me about 2 hours and you get to see some great views of the rock from all angles. I would recommend the base walk rather than the climb!;)

8. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 10y

Lynx your feelings about this are shared by many, most of whom do not rely on visitors to Uluru to make a living. The traditional owners - the Anangu - have entered into a commercial arrangement with Australian government whereby they they lease the land back to the Govt which is in turn managed by National Parks. The fact is that around 400,000 people pour into the park every year of which its estimated well over half climb. So it needs careful and very controlled management. Part of the lease says that people are allowed to climb Uluru, which is tolerated by the Anangu people probably more for commercial reasons than anything else. After the death of an elder in 2001 they did close the climbing path for 10-days so they can do it; however, I doubt any sort of long-term closure would be sustainable or allowed. I believe that people should be free to choose whether ot climb or not and do so free from the criticisms of others because I don't think it makes them any less sensitive to local cultural beliefs. It may even spark an awareness. Like it or not, sacred sites in any country are a curiosity with huge marketing potential that someone will always find a way to exploit, hopefully to the benefit of the true owners.

9. Posted by jessianne (Full Member 54 posts) 10y

I wouldn't climb it. I wouldn't recommend anyone to climb it.

When you get there hopefully you will be as awestruck as I was and want to show your respect to the community and the rock itself by not climbing it. Believe me you will feel special enough standing at it's base and looking on forever in awe.

I also feel stronlgy about this,

however at the end of the day you have a choice, like everyone who visits Uluru. I would suggest that if you really want to make an informed decision, visit the interprative centre first, then walk around the base of the rock. After this the decision is yours to make as an informed person.

I really do hope you enjoy it, it is a very special place in the world.

10. Posted by jem21 (Full Member 31 posts) 10y

respect the aborigines - DONT CLIMB IT, its a sacred site. i walked the base of the rock at sunrise in march, it was an amazing expereince very eery and also saw the sunset with champagne there the evening before. i recommend going to the culture centre at uluru before you even think about clibing it - but to cllimb is selfish stupid and its like for example climbing up a mosque or somthing, it is a scared place to somone and we should repect that.

have fun, take lots of photos ( in places ur alloweed too, lookout for signs) and enjoy an amazing experieince of being there