- 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) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF CLIMBERS GOING THROUGH GATE TO CLIMB ULURU CLIMBERS WAITING IN LINE TO CLIMB ULURU VARIOUS OF ULURU AT SUNRISE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING PHOTOS OF ULURU AT SUNRISE (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM PORT MACQUARIE, SUE EAST, SAYING: "Well, I personally won't climb but I think people have a right to do that and it's like anything that people do in the world - whether it be Everest or Kilimanjaro? There's many people that do it and they are always looking for that adventure. So, I think it's something that they should be allowed to do." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE TAKING PHOTOS ON VIEWING PLATFORM VARIOUS OF ULURU (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM WISCONSIN USA, KATHLEEN KOSTROSKI, SAYING; "I'm not climbing The Rock today because I think it's sacrilegious. It's a violation against Mother Nature, first of all and secondly, against the aboriginal indigenous people here." SIGN READING (English): "NO WALKERS/ CLIMBERS, CLIMB CLOSED DUE TO STRONG WINDS AT SUMMIT" VARIOUS OF CLIMBERS IN QUEUE FOR CLIMB (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM MELBOURNE, KELLY DERKS, SAYING: "Look, I respect that but, you know, it's very sacred down the bottom. Up the top, I don't think it's as sacred as down the bottom. So yeah everyone has their own opinion but I don't see the harm in climbing. So long as you don't damage anything you just respect, you know, their culture and just walk. And yeah, don't damage anything up there or leave any rubbish up the top." (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM ADELAIDE, SONITA VINECOMBE, SAYING: 'Yeah, it's a bit of a Catch-22. Obviously, you want to respect the cultural side of things, but still you kind of want to have it as a challenge to get up the rock, so it's very difficult in terms of that. It's a hard question to answer." VARIOUS OF SIGNS ASKING PEOPLE NOT TO WALK VARIOUS OF ULURU BASE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ULURU INDIGENOUS RANGER, TIJIANGU THOMAS, SAYING: "This is an emotional day, it's happiness is, I guess, the majority of the feeling, knowing that people are no longer going to be disrespecting the rock and the culture and being safe. Also, yeah, a bit of sadness knowing there are some elders along this journey who aren't here to witness it."
- 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: LVA001B2LGE2V
- 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)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None