- Title: Tourists line up to scale Australia's Uluru hours ahead of climb ban
- Date: 25th October 2019
- Summary: ULURU, AUSTRALIA (OCTOBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANANGU ELDER, VINCENT FORRESTER, SAYING: (WHEN ASKED ABOUT PEOPLE CLIMBING ULURU) "So, you know, it's a religious place, this is a place of religion, a place of worship. So why?" PEOPLE WALKING AT BASE ROCK WOMAN WALKING ON PATH/ULURU BASE
- Embargoed: 8th November 2019 03:20
- Keywords: ban sacred rock queue Anangu Ayers Rock climbing monolith indigenous Australia Uluru
- Location: ULURU, AUSTRALIA
- City: ULURU, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Race Relations / Ethnic Issues,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003B2LGE2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Hundreds of tourists formed long queues to climb Australia's Uluru soon after dawn on Friday (October 25), the day before a permanent ban on the climb takes effect following a decades-long fight by indigenous people to close the trek.
The Anangu people, the traditional owners of Uluru, have called for the climb to be closed since 1985, when the park was returned to indigenous control. The Anangu say Uluru has deep spiritual significance as a route their ancestors took.
Blustery conditions meant visitors were stopped from making an early morning climb and authorities said they will reassess the situation during the day.
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed 348-meter (1,142-ft) monolith, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is a top tourist draw in Australia despite its remote desert location near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Nearly 400,000 visitors flocked to the Australian landmark in the year to end-June, government data shows.
While most visitors do not climb Uluru's steep, red-ochre flanks, the impending October 26 ban has triggered an upsurge in tourists taking advantage of a final opportunity to make the trek. The closure was announced two years ago when fewer than 20 percent of visitors were making the climb.
To commemorate the climbing ban the park will conduct public celebrations over the weekend.
(Production: Stefica Nicol Bikes)
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