Travel: Thousands Swarm Uluru Before Summit Hike Closes to Tourists - PressFrom - US
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Travel Thousands Swarm Uluru Before Summit Hike Closes to Tourists

10:55  10 october  2019
10:55  10 october  2019 Source:   afar.com

Aborigines say Uluru is sacred. Tourists rushing to beat a hiking ban are trashing it.

Aborigines say Uluru is sacred. Tourists rushing to beat a hiking ban are trashing it. Uluru has become revered by another group: Instagramming tourists drawn to climb the 1,100-foot formation in central Australia.

About 1,000 people a day are climbing Uluru , the world-famous red rock at the heart of Australia, as tourists rush for a last chance to ascend the landmark before a ban comes into force. Uluru , also known as Ayers Rock, is sacred to the Anangu nation, the traditional owners of the Unesco-listed rock

Uluru -Kata Tjuta National Park Board announced in 2017 that tourists would be banned from climbing the rock with figures at the time revealing a large portion of visitors respected the heritage of the site — just 20 per cent of visitors climbed, down from 70 per cent in previous decades.

Supporters of the climbing ban at Uluru point out that visitors can’t take in this iconic view from the top of the rock.

a field with Uluru in the background: Thousands Swarm Uluru Before Summit Hike Closes to Tourists© Photo by Tom Jastram/Shutterstock Thousands Swarm Uluru Before Summit Hike Closes to Tourists

In the past few weeks, an estimated 1,000 hikers have arrived daily at Australia’s remote Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to ascend the park’s ruddy namesake monolith before the climb closes later this month.

Visitors have long been discouraged from hiking to the top of Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock), which is both sacred to the indigenous Anangu and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. But starting on October 26, 2019, climbing it will be officially prohibited.

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Anger as tourists swarm Uluru as climb closure date approaches. Hordes of tourists are descending on Uluru to climb it before it closes — wreaking havoc. Lindy Severin, the owner of Curtin Springs station about 100 kilometres from Uluru , said thousands travelling in caravans had

Hordes of tourists are descending on Uluru to climb it before it closes — wreaking havoc. A photo taken at the base of Uluru on Wednesday showed Lindy Severin, the owner of Curtin Springs station about 100 kilometres from Uluru , said thousands travelling in caravans had been dumping their toilet

According to the ban, which was first announced November 1, 2017, fewer than 20 percent of park visitors make the ascent. But with just three weeks left before the closure goes into effect, many are jumping on what is being framed as their last chance to climb the rock.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park manager Mike Misso told Australian news outlet SBS News that this is the busiest the park has been in more than a decade. He also said that while Parks Australia hasn’t recorded the exact numbers of park visitors during this recent surge, officials know that “it’s certainly in the hundreds and probably nearer 1,000 [a day].”

By comparison, the Telegraph reports that in 2015, 300,000 people visited the park and that only 16.2 percent—or an average of 135 people daily—climbed the rock.

Ban tourists to protect sacred sites, say Australia's indigenous people

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Officials angered as tourists overload Uluru , Australia, in scramble to climb it before it closes . On Tuesday, photos of hundreds of tourists lining up to hike Uluru begun circulating online, angering Over the years, the passage of thousands of feet following the trail up and down the rock has caused

Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the isolated area in Australia's Northern Territory to learn about the cultural significance and experience the wonder of this insane rock in the middle of the desert. Decades of debate have focussed on whether tourists should be able to climb Uluru .

An article published by the Australian even reports pushing and shoving along the crowded route and features a photo of a long line of people that calls to mind some recent stories of overcrowding on Everest.

a large brick building with a mountain in the background: For years, the Anangu nation has asked visitors to choose to not climb Uluru, which is sacred to the indigenous culture.© Photo by Anurat Imaree/Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/2018-january-21-picture... For years, the Anangu nation has asked visitors to choose to not climb Uluru, which is sacred to the indigenous culture.

But despite the surge in climbers, the end is in sight for the Anangu, who have been working tirelessly for the ban for years. The 550-million-year-old monolith is an integral part of Tjukupra, the complex religious philosophy that links Anangu to the environment and to their ancestors: It marks the route that their ancestors took upon arriving in the area. But while the Anangu are the traditional owners of the lands, having inhabited them for at least 30,000 years, they only regained legal control of the area on October 26, 1985. The park is now jointly managed by the Anangu and the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

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Thousands of people are flocking to climb Uluru -- Australia's sacred giant monolith -- before a The Uluru -Kata Tjuta National Park board decided unanimously that the climb will close permanently on Oct. However, some visitors argue that the rock should remain open for Australians and tourists to

Uluru has become revered by another group: Instagramming tourists drawn to climb the 1,100-foot formation in central Australia. With a ban on hiking the formation set for October, tourists are making a last-ditch pilgrimage to set foot on the rock before it’s illegal, creating human traffic jams

“[The ban] is a significant moment for all Australians and marks a new chapter in our history,” says Sally Barnes, director of National Parks and also a member of the Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park Board. “It clearly says we put country and culture first when managing this place for all Australians and our visitors from around the world.”

There are others reasons, too, to close the route. At 1,142 feet, Uluru is taller than the Eiffel Tower and the three-hour climb to the top can be dangerous. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park website states that some 35 people have died trying to make the climb—three in the past 12 months, according to SBS News. The rock is often closed due to weather; high temperatures, high winds, and impending rain can all make the route more trecherous.

Additionally, the constant stream of people over the 70 years has worn a path up the rock, changing its face.

Supporters of the ban argue that visitors don’t need to climb the rock to appreciate it. In fact, while the top affords great views, it can be hard to appreciate the enormity of the monolith from that perspective. Most visitors perfer to visit the Cultural Centre or  hike the rock’s 5.8-mile circumference, which is dotted with watering holes and caves.

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Uluru has been inundated with tourists hoping to climb the World-Heritage listed site before a climbing ban comes into effect on 26 October. The scale of increased tourist activity at Uluru has been captured in a photo of a kilometres-long line of tourists snaking down the 340-metre red sandstone

The final ascent: Japanese tour guide takes photo of HUNDREDS of tourists charging up Uluru Thousands have visited Uluru before the practice is banned on October 26 20,000 more tourists flocked to the site in August 2019 compared to last year A photograph taken from the top of Uluru shows hundreds of people queuing to summit the

How to visit without climbing

There have long been plenty of ways to experience Uluru that don’t require a trek to its top. Here are three of our favorites:

SEIT Uluru

Local Australian operator SEIT offers small group tours, off-the-beaten-path experiences focused on heritage. Its seven-hour Uluru day trip involves a drive around the base, a visit to the Mutitjulu water hole, rock art viewing, and an introduction to the Anangu Creation stories. The day ends at Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area to watch the famous geologic formation light up orange in the sunset.

Book now: $169, seitoutbackaustralia.com.au

Abercrombie & Kent’s Australia & New Zealand: The Lands Down Under 2020

Luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent brings guests from the Outback of Australia to the fjords of New Zealand on one comprehensive journey. At Uluru, travelers enjoy a relaxing stay at Longitude 131º with unparalleled views of the majestic monolith before continuing on the rest of their epic, 17-day adventure.

Book now: From $14,995 per person, abercrombiekent.com

G Adventures’ Melbourne Outback & Uluru Adventure

At the end of G Adventures’ 12-day jaunt from Melbourne to the country’s “Red Centre,” guests greet Uluru with a glass of bubbly and then the next day explore the Mala walk around the rock’s circumference and learn about its importance.

Why Australia is banning climbers from this iconic natural landmark

Why Australia is banning climbers from this iconic natural landmark After decades of controversy, Uluru will close to climbers in October 2019—a decision welcomed by the area’s Aboriginal owners.

Before park management announced it was closing the climb, around 140 people were climbing Uluru each day. RELATED: Anger as tourists swarm Uluru as climb closure date approaches. Tourism operators say that Australian and Japanese tourists most commonly seek to climb Uluru .

Uluru will be closed to hikers from 26 October 2019 to protect the sacred site from further damage by visitors. However, the ban has caused a surge in hiker numbers. Previously called Ayers Rock, Uluru has always been a scared site for the Anangu

Book now: From $2,932, gadventures.com

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