Outrage as 'processional caterpillars' flock to scale Ayers Rock before ban

Outrage as 'processional caterpillars' flock to scale Ayers Rock before ban

Photographs have surfaced on social media of climbers flocking to scale the sacred indigenous Uluru, or 'Ayers Rock' in Australia, sparking controversy.

Pictures show a congested stream of people snaking up the rock which has drawn comparison to that of the recent pictures of Mount Everest.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park voted in 2017 to end the climb due to the spiritual significance of the site to the indigenous population.

The local Anangu do not climb the rock because of its spiritual and cultural significance.

The ban will come in to effect this October, and as a result, the site has seen an influx of tourists desperate to climb the rock before it's too late.

The queue at Mount Everest earlier this year. Picture: PA.
The queue at Mount Everest earlier this year. Picture: PA.

Marriage celebrant Meredith Cambell told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation she had never witnessed scenes like it before at the site, saying "they were just like processional caterpillars, caravan after caravan, arriving, arriving,arriving."

She also described overflowing bins at the scene.

Meanwhile station owner Lyndee Severin told ABC that people were illegally camping, lighting fires and dumping human waste and rubbish in the area.

Speaking about the ban, board director and Uluru traditional owner Sammy Wilson said the decision was one to feel proud about: “The land has law and culture. We welcome tourists here. Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration. Let’s come together; let’s close it together.

“If I travel to another country and there is a sacred site, an area of restricted access, I don’t enter or climb it, I respect it. It is the same here for Anangu. We welcome tourists here. We are not stopping tourism, just this activity."

Uluru lies 335km south west of Alice Springs and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since being listed, the site's annual visitors has risen to more than 400,000.

More on this topic

From Gallarus to Slane: Dáithí Ó SéFrom Gallarus to Slane: Dáithí Ó Sé

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces ‘seize tanker accused of smuggling oil’Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces ‘seize tanker accused of smuggling oil’

Teenage drill rapper Unknown T appears in court charged with murderTeenage drill rapper Unknown T appears in court charged with murder

As she lands a big new campaign, here’s why Kendall Jenner is a denim iconAs she lands a big new campaign, here’s why Kendall Jenner is a denim icon

More in this Section

Brexit Secretary: No-deal would be disruptive, but could be mitigatedBrexit Secretary: No-deal would be disruptive, but could be mitigated

World’s biggest tech show to allow sex toys but ban scantily-clad workersWorld’s biggest tech show to allow sex toys but ban scantily-clad workers

Driver found guilty of attack outside UK's Houses of ParliamentDriver found guilty of attack outside UK's Houses of Parliament

UK report finds thousands of 'super-prolific' criminals spared jail last yearUK report finds thousands of 'super-prolific' criminals spared jail last year


Lifestyle

Whether it’s wearing acid-washed jeans or booty shorts, the model is a denim chameleon.As she lands a big new campaign, here’s why Kendall Jenner is a denim icon

Don’t want to just chuck away all that clutter? Gabrielle Fagan reveals simple ways to get it out of sight.Seek and hide: 6 storage solutions to keep you and your rooms cool and calm this summer

From playsuits to parkas, here’s what to pack, whatever the weather. By Katie Wright.The beginner’s guide to festival fashion

Hate delegating, constantly check emails and scared to take holiday? Being too tied to work could be damaging your wellbeing.Has worrying about work taken over your life? 6 signs that you might have work separation anxiety

More From The Irish Examiner