Tourists are reportedly swarming to Uluru in huge numbers in an apparent bid to check “climb the rock” off of their bucket list before the activity is formally outlawed this coming October.
A photo posted to Facebook by ABC Brisbane this afternoon shows just how crowded the sacred cultural landmark is at present time, with a constant line of climbers stretching from the base of the site to its summit. In the middle of NAIDOC Week, no less.
Tourist operators in the area have reported a significant spike in people flocking to the area ever since the future ban was announced, with the ABC reporting in May that operators of the Curtin Roadhouse, 100km east of Uluru, have described the situation as “batshit crazy.”
With the influx of tourists comes increased risk as well; a 64-year-old Australian man suffered a heart attack while climbing Uluru in late May, and is lucky to be alive after being carried down the site and airlifted to hospital.
The ban on climbing Uluru comes into effect on October 26, which coincides with the 34th anniversary of Uluru’s handback to its traditional owners, the Pitjantjatjara Anangu people.
Climbing the site has been strongly discouraged by Indigenous elders for eons, and signs at the site urging tourists to reconsider have been in place since 1992.
A revamped offering of tourist offerings, with a focus on Uluru’s cultural and spiritual significance, is being developed for the site beyond the date of the climbing ban.
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