Australia's Uluru is busy ahead of new legislation in October

I visited Uluru, which is either Australia’s most famous icon or second after the Sydney Opera House, in 2006. In November of 2017 the Australian government voted to ban climbing it, so tourists are now flocking to Australia’s Red Center before the ban goes into effect in October.

The reason for the ban? Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) is of great spiritual importance to the Anangu people, the collection of Aboriginal groups in central Australia who traditionally owned it. They prefer that visitors don’t climb Uluru because the rock is of great and ancient spiritual importance. The path that people climb is associated with important ceremonies. In addition, if a visitor gets injured or dies (36 people had been killed prior to my visit) while climbing the rock, the Anangu believe that his or her spirit will remain there forever. They will feel very badly if that happens.

I didn’t climb Uluru not only because I didn’t want to disrespect the Aboriginals (I don’t need any bad karma) but also because I’m afraid of heights. It’s steep! According to the guide I had at Uluru, half of all visitors at the time were still climbing up it. It seems like the percentage has only gotten higher since, and right now, with the ban looming, the queues to climb Uluru are pretty insane, as seen in the photos in the Guardian story.

I don’t endorse climbing Uluru, but that aside I would highly suggest going after the ban goes into effect in October since there will no doubt be fewer people. Plus, you won’t get bad karma.

More on Uluru

From a distance, Uluru looks really smooth, but up close there are all kinds of holes, caves, tunnels, natural sculptures, and even paintings in/on it. There are even gray streaks running down the side caused by waterfalls, which form when it rains (a rare occurrence). At 986 feet high and five miles around, Uluru is one of the largest monoliths in the world. It’s made of arkosic sandstone, infused with minerals like feldspar. The rust color comes from oxidation. It’s amazing to see Uluru (and Kata Tjuta, another red rock formation) change colors with the reflection of the sun, particularly at sunrise and sunset when it appears to glow. It’s a mind-boggling site.



Have your own tip? Email it to!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 1,493!

Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Just fill in your email address and check the Daily Travel Tip box—and you’ll have Johnny’s best tips, straight to your inbox each day!

If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check the Daily Travel Tip box on the same page and you’ll receive an email with a link to update your preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.

Johnny Jet

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

1 Comment On "Australia's Uluru Will Be Busy Ahead of New Legislation in October"
  1. Stefani Brancato|

    I had the pleasure of making the grueling climb up Uluru in 1995. I conditioned for a full year, and at that, it was still very difficult. I do remember getting up above where the flies were, and how beautiful it was to look out once I made it to the top. I apologize to the native peoples, but this will always be a landmark moment in my life.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *