Australian laws bans tourists from climbing Uluru mountain, which is sacred to Aboriginals

Uluru, a sacred rock to the Aboriginal community, is easily one of Australia’s most recognizable landmarks. It reaches 348 meters above the ground, but the bulk of this rock, which has a circumference of nearly 10 miles, lies underground. Such is its rarity that UNESCO placed Uluru on its World Heritage sites list. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this sacred every year to bike around it, take a tour, but most importantly, climb it. For the local Anangu Aboriginal people, Uluru is a place of power. It is many things to the Anangu, including the center of the universe and the home of the Mother of the Earth. For thousands of years, the Anangu have created petroglyphs on Ayers Rock that are now considered national cultural treasures. So when tourists start climbing up this holy mountain and stripping on top as a “tribute to the Indigenous culture,” (The Telegraph 11/1) the Aborigines were not happy. In November of 2018, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board stated that the climbing of Uluru would be banned from October 2019 and on. This is important because it shows how tourists in our day and age can be extremely disrespectful knowingly and unknowingly.

I feel this event is impressive, the fact that Australia is finally acknowledging Aboriginal beliefs and religion is significant. I think that this decision was a good idea. “About 250,000 people visit Uluru every year, according to the park’s website. In recent years, the number of visitors wishing to climb the rock has dropped significantly, to less than 20 percent” (NY Times, Nov 1) This shows how, although many people were upset about the climbing law, there was a high number of people that stopped climbing this mountain out of respect.
Recently, two tourists also climbed up the pyramids of Giza and were extremely disrespectful to the Muslim culture. “I say what you have done by climbing on that side of the rock, by climbing on that sensitive site, it’s the equivalent of me abseiling [rappelling] over the Sistine Chapel or climbing over a church,” (NEWSELA 11/12/18)
This and many other events similar show how tourists can be utterly rude. I feel that this matters in our life and society today because of the way the modern mind disregards history and does many things “for the fun of it.”


Was this law the savior for the Aboriginal people? Or the downfall of all income that goes into Uluru?

3 Replies to “Australian laws bans tourists from climbing Uluru mountain, which is sacred to Aboriginals”

  1. Great job! I totally agree with you about how tourists can be really rude and disrespectful of foreign culture. But why do you think this is? Along with climbing sacred sites such as the Uluru and the pyramids, many tourists also dress disrespectfully, offending people from that culture. It is good to see that the law created is helping Aboriginal community, and that only less than 20% of the tourists visiting now still want to climb the rock. However, to save the culture and protect the sacred rock, the money that goes into Uluru will drastically increase, negatively affecting the economy. But perhaps this is what it takes to save a culture, more importantly, a Aboriginal community.

  2. Wow, your blog post is quite intriguing. I know that many other tourist sites and even cities have had problems with tourists, such as the Great Wall of China, Barcelona, and Venice. For example, in Barcelona, there are so many tourists that the culture that made Barcelona popular 20 years ago, is now suddenly vanishing. And as a person who travels regularly I have to admit that I am part of the cause this issue, so I have only myself to blame. It makes me wonder, should tourists be forbidden or limited, and how can countries deal with a loss of culture from tourists?

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog post! I completely agree with you when you mentioned that “this decision was a good idea.” Aboriginal beliefs and religion should be considered, especially because only around 6% of indigenous Australians identify themselves as having Aboriginal heritage. Reading your blog post reminded me of an article I viewed on CNN. Apparently, a crowd of tourists in Spain killed a baby dolphin while attempting to take a photo with it! It is horrible to hear that tourists are not respectful towards the wonderful places that they visit. However, it is great to know that the visitors that demand to climb Uluru have decreased to only 20%. How do you think this will possibly effect the tourism in Australia, and the Aboriginal community?

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