Formerly known as Ayer’s Rock, the formation of Uluru, is now closed to visitors who wish to climb the summit. Hundreds showed up on Saturday to the climb Australia’s sacred rock, before the bans went into effect. 

Part of the Anangu aboriginal settlement, Uluru is considered a sacred place for thousands of years. It was never meant to be climbed due to both sacrilegious and safety reasons. What began as an expedition in the early 20th century, now has visitors flocking to the rock formation all in the hopes of climbing the summit. 

Recognised as one of Australia’s natural landmarks, the sandstone formation stands 348 metres high. Noted for appearing to change colour at different times of the day and year, Uluru was returned under the local aborigines in 1985, with the conditions being that Anangu would lease it back to the National Parks and Wildlife agency for 99 years and that it would be jointly managed.

Hundreds Line Up To Climb Australia’s Sacred Uluru

With several controversial incidents on top of Uluru since 2010, including striptease, golfing and nudity, a renewed call for banning the climb of the same was led. 

On November 2017, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board voted unanimously to prohibit climbing the rock formation leading to a surge in visitors and climbers till last Saturday- 26th October 2019. With Hundreds in presence, the monumental final climb was trending on social media platforms. The entrance gate to Uluru was hut at 4 pm local time on Friday, with local officials taking down a metal chain that visitors were using as a climbing aid. 

The ban comes in the spirit of preserving the sites spiritual significance and environmental reasons. Rameth Thomas, an Angagu man told BBC, that the Uluru was a “very scared place, like our church. People right around the world, they just come and climb it. They’ve got no respect”. Yet, with the ban in effect, the long fight by traditional owners has come to an end, allowing the Uluru to “rest and heal”. 

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