Thousands of tourists flock to climb Uluru in Australia ahead of ban

Thousands of tourists are descending on Uluru to climb it before a ban comes into force (Picture: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Hordes of tourists are descending on the sacred Australian rock Uluru to climb it before a ban comes into force.

Around 1,000 people a day are climbing Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, ahead of access being restricted from October 26.

The rock is sacred to its Aboriginal owners, who have been pleaded with people not to climb it for years.

Now, ahead of the ban later this month, the landmark is said to be the busiest it has been in more than a decade, with more than 1,000 people trying to climb it per day.


Images on social media show hundreds of people trying to complete the ascent, queuing up at the bottom of the sacred rock ahead of the climb, which involves using a metal chain to pull themselves up.

On one Instagram account, tiddas4tiddas, the caption alongside a picture of Australian singer Jessica Mauboy standing near Uluru read: “What a stunning shot of the incredible @jessicamauboy1 in front of Uluru 🤩 we can’t wait to feel relief with the Anangu people at the end of this month as the climbing of Uluru stop.”

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Australian historian Dr Tim Dymond told The Telegraph that the influx was deliberate after people heard about the ban.

He said: “Some people were hearing about this (ban) for the first time, they were hearing about it on social media, often from the classic racist uncle type, and thinking ‘I am going to show them’.”


As well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uluru is also a sacred place to the local Anangu people (Picture: Getty)

What exactly is Uluru?

  • Uluru is also known as Ayers Rock, named by William Gosse in 1873 after Sir Henry Ayers. Uluru is its Aboriginal and official name.

  • The rock itself was created more than 600 million years ago and was at the bottom of the sea.

  • Uluru is 1,142ft high - taller than the Eiffel Tower and The Shard. However, 2.5km of its bulk is still underground.

  • The rock isn’t actually the biggest monolith in the world - that honour goes to Mount Augustus in Western Australia.

  • The striking orange-red hue of Uluru is caused by the surface oxidation of its iron content.

  • At least 35 people have died on Uluru since climbing started in the 1950s.

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