Scores Of Clowns Have Lined Up Before Sunrise For One Last Legal Uluru Climb

Tourists have lined up since before dawn to enter the Northern Territory’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a matter of hours before visitors will be banned from climbing Uluru at the request of the site’s Anangu traditional owners.

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Footage captured by Sky News Australia shows a line of cars and vans queued in the darkness, with reporter Andrea Crothers stating some of the vehicles had been lined up since 4.30am.

And ABC journo Oliver Gordon yesterday shared a dizzying video of would-be climbers waiting for their turn in the national park.

There’s a simple reason for the crowds: the monolithic rock will be shut off to climbers from tomorrow, owing to a few key factors.

The national park board, which is comprised mostly of Aboriginal traditional owners, warns it can be unsafe to make the climb. That is evidenced by the number of tourists who suffered adverse health impacts on hike – and the folks who struggle to make it down.

Then there are environmental concerns. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board has long pointed out the fact that climbers have eroded sections of Uluru, and the fact that anything left up there eventually washes down to impact surrounding flora and fauna.

Perhaps most pressing is the fact traditional owners see Uluru as a sacred site, and would rather have visitors come to visit and learn about Anangu culture without feeling the need to literally trample on it.

As for concerns over visitor numbers once the climb is banned? Well, barring the recent influx, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park reckons fewer people have been making the climb over recent years, saying other cultural attractions will better serve tourists anyway.

Parks Australia has advised that from tomorrow, serious breaches of the ban could result in fines reaching $10,000. If you’re still dead keen to make the trek, you better hurry up. Looks like the line is pretty long.