The indigenous Anangu community has been attempting for years to ban tourists from climbing Uluru. For the Anangu, that land is sacred, and when it was returned to them in 1985 they hoped tourists would be respectful of that.
Despite their desire to ban climbing altogether, it has remained open due to constant pressure from the surrounding community. They did, however, place a sign at the bottom of Uluru stating: “The climb is not prohibited, but we prefer that, as a guest on Anangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing.”
Recently, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board unanimously agreed to ban tourists and natives alike from climbing the rock.
The board’s chairman, Sammy Wilson, said, “It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland.”
In addition to a steady decline in the amount of tourists interested in completing the climb, the climb itself is considered quite dangerous and 35 people have died at Uluru since the 1950s. Oct. 26, 2019 will not only mark the day the ban will go into effect, but also the 24th anniversary of the day the land was given back to the Anangu.