Budget Travel Warehouse Inc. London Ontario's Blog

If You Haven't Visited Uluru Yet...

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the most recognizable natural landmark symbol of Australia, has banned visitors from climbing.

Uluru/Ayers Rock rises nearly 350 meters (1142 feet) high above the hot, dry, desert in the center of Australia. This monolith is almost 10 km (6 miles) around.  And it isn't just a miracle of survival of the erosion of the rest of the landscape around it. At different times of the year and in the light of dawn and sunset, its sandstone also appears to magically glow red. (Top photo credit)

Cultural and Spiritual Significance

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No wonder it is a place of cultural and spiritual significance for the local AŠĻČangu people, the traditional local inhabitants. The area also has springs, waterholes, and rock caves with ancestral petroglyphs and paintings.  Members of the aboriginal community lead walking tours to introduce visitors to the local plants and wildlife unique to the area, aboriginal cultural traditions, and their Dreamtime spiritual stories.

But they don't lead treks up the steep slopes to the top.

10,000 Years of Human History

Archaeologists have determined humans inhabited the area more than 10,000 years ago. Europeans arrived in the late 19th century, and tourism to the site began in the first half of the 20th century.  Since the site was given UNESCO World Heritage designation, even more people  - half a million visitors a year - have made the journey to this spectacular site at the heart of Australia.

As interest and visits rose, the challenge to balance conservation, respect for Uluru's spiritual significance, and visitor experience grew.

To Climb or Not to Climb?

The local aboriginal people do not climb the sacred Uluru rock themselves to avoid violating sacred Dreamtime ground.  And they have long requested visitors follow their lead.

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Nonetheless, about a third of visitors to Uluru/ Ayers Rock make the hour-long, steep, 800 m (half-mile) climb to the sometimes dangerously windy summit.  In recent years, unfortunate videos have even popped up of truly disrespectful behavior by tourists at the top.

Those incidents have added to pressure to ban climbing Uluru.  First, Ayers Rock was re-named using its aboriginal designation.  Then, in 1985, ownership of Uluru was returned to the local aboriginal people, who now share decision-making on the management of the National Park where Uluru resides.

New Rules at Uluru

In November 2017, the park board voted unanimously to prohibit climbing Uluru. The new rules take effect in October 2019, coinciding with the 34th anniversary of the return of the site to its aboriginal owners.

If you visit Australia, there are still many ways to experience the awe-inspiring site of Uluru other than climbing.  Since 2009, there have been special viewing areas whose design and construction were supervised by the aboriginal community.  They provide visitors road access, walking trails and views from angles at both sunrise and sunset.

Start your Trip!

 

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Sydney Opera House, Australia

 

In planning your trip to Australia, you should make sure to visit the continent’s most amazing travel destinations.   

Whether going there with your family, friends, your life partner or just all by yourself, there are places of interest that you should not miss going.  

Here we give you the top picks of the must-visit places in Australia.

Melbourne

One of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne inspires a deep passion for those who are there.  It remains to be a magnet for people for its vibrant society and modern lifestyle.

Great Barrier Reef

The home of largest coral reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Don’t miss seeing this natural attraction, which is so massive that it can even be seen from outer space!

Sydney Harbour

The best way to see it is to be there your self, specifically on board a ferry.  In here, you have the perfect spot to take photos of the Sydney Opera House.

Kakadu National Park
A World Heritage Site, Kakadu illustrates the ecological effects of sea-level change in Northern Australia. There is so much to do in Kakadu - from horseback riding and nature adventure activities to even appreciating the aboriginal culture of Australia.

Fraser Island

Fraser is the largest sand island in world.  It is a rich part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, making it a World Heritage Site itself.

Whatever you are hankering for, whether it is nature, lifestyle, culture, beauty, shopping, there is surely something for you in Australia!
 

So start planning your next trip now!

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