Climbing on Australia's iconic Uluru landmark will be banned from October 2019, authorities said on Wednesday acceding to the demand by indegenous people's wish not to climb the roack, also known as Ayers Rock.
Since the giant 8.6 square kilometre red monolith in the Northern Territory is sacred to Aboriginal Australians, the board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park voted unanimously to end the climb owing to local sensitivities, the BBC reported.
Uluru means 'Earth Mother' and is believed to hold a powerful energy source by locals. It also marks the place where they believe dreamtime began. The aboriginal tribes have long pleaded visitors not to climb the outcrop in respect to the traditional law of the Anangu Aboriginal people, the custodians of the land.
"It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland," Board Chairman and Anangu man Sammy Wilson said."If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don't enter or climb it, I respect it."
A huge chunk of sandstone and a 'true' monolith, Uluru is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the southwest corner of the Northern Territory of Australia. With a height of about 350-km from its barren surroundings, the rock is the only singular monolith.
In the 1870s, local administrator William Gosse named it for Henry Ayers, the then-South Australia Chief Secretary. Ayers Rock is about 335kms to the southwest of Alice Springs and the 463-km road to the rock takes about five hours. A small resort town of Yulara nearby is where tourists stay in the night.
Climbing Uluru or Ayers Rock takes about two hours the best time to observe the rock is during sunrise and sunset, when its terracotta hue morphs into a violet/blue tinge, say tourist websites.
Uluru also has a companion tourist spot Kata Tjuta, also known as the Olgas, that serves as a side attraction.