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Climbing Uluru


Bruce
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I remember when it took 2 days to see Uluru properly. One day you climbed it, the other day you walked around the base.

 

BOTH these things are now banned by the aborigines who have control. They are free to destroy the income-earning nature of the place , I guess with no financial risk to their siddown money.

 

Of course desert aborigines would have a culture which was against unnecessary exertion, gosh they were calorie-deprived all their lives.

 

But to extend this to others is just nasty.

 

 

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Before we fed them junk food and infected them with imported diseases they were quite fine physical specimens. Some of them still walk long distances and don't want a lift when you see them "way out there"..  Alcohol doesn't do much for many races, if one is honest about it,  even though it's been around for thousands of years.  For some a keg is not enough and a glass is too much.  Nev

 

 

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How to maximise the Ulura experience? Not fly in. Even driving in is probably too quick to allow a real sense of awe for the place.

 

Walking around it and admiring it from different angles and at different times of day might be best.

 

Why do white fellas have to climb everything?

 

 

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Climbing it is one thing . Sticking a flag in the ground is what starts the arguments. Personally I think the Grampians beats Uluru hands down  and is far more extensive and reacts to weather storms etc in spring and has Aboriginal paintings etc The NT Government originally "developed" Uluru to become what it is today which is in many ways not a REAL experience . My Guide on a trip along the base was from Katherine. (isn't eveybody?). I think the response from most I met there was well I've seen that essentially implying and "I won't need to do it twice". Its very expensive and you could even buy a new outfit (clothes, not motorcycle) much the same as one could in Canberra. Nev

 

 

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We were in the vicinity recently but, because of the crowds, elected not to travel the 250km off the track. I have never wanted to climb it and I respect the urging of 'locals' not to. Why are we so precious about our own cultural icons (think ANZAC, British majesty, Xmas etc) yet ridicule the thought of the world's oldest culture having similar sensitivity? Makes no sense to me.

 

 

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...Why are we so precious about our own cultural icons (think ANZAC, British majesty, Xmas etc) yet ridicule the thought of the world's oldest culture having similar sensitivity? Makes no sense to me.

 

Spot on, Ancient One. In the district where I grew up the white fellas had a favourite swimming hole, the surrounds of which were sometimes trashed with tinnies and beer bottles. Few of them knew or cared that this was a sacred site for the original people.

 

 

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Just as a slight diversion from OP, years ago I had a friend who was part indigenous. He informed me that the truely sacred rock isn't Uluru itself (although that is still significant). The really special place is a much less interesting (to white fellas) small area of rock that sticks up out of the ground nearby.  But the indigenous don't tell the white fellas about that because they'll desecrate it. I have no way to verify this, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's true.

 

I find Uluru to be an impressive big rock. I personally have felt that the Olga's are more special. Mount Augustus is older and larger than Uluru, and it turns all the same magical coulurs as Uluru. It's also easier to climb than Uluru because one side is still buried.

 

 

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I remember when it took 2 days to see Uluru properly. One day you climbed it, the other day you walked around the base.

 

BOTH these things are now banned by the aborigines who have control. They are free to destroy the income-earning nature of the place , I guess with no financial risk to their siddown money.

 

Of course desert aborigines would have a culture which was against unnecessary exertion, gosh they were calorie-deprived all their lives.

 

But to extend this to others is just nasty.

 

 

 

Having done some checking I believe that your post is partially incorrect. The ban is on climbing not walking around.

 

https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/tourists-storm-up-uluru-before-climbing-is-banned-later-this-month/news-story/bbbdded27aad11df1016563582929b44

 

Despite closing the climb, there is still plenty for tourists to enjoy in the region.

 

“Activities at the Red Centre include camel rides, the Uluru Segway tour which takes visitors around the base of Uluru, a number of walking tracks including the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Mala walk, outback cycling rides, Uluru motorcycle rides and even skydiving,” a spokesperson for Tourism NT told news.com.au. “Maruku Arts offers art, tours and workshops, and of course there are many sunrise/sunset tours on offer.”

 

The climb has also damaged the rock itself, with a huge white scar from tourists walking the same path being visible from a distance."

 

There are many places where access  is prohibited because of environmental sensitivity my suspicion is that what really motivates the complainers is the fact that it is those uppity indigenous people trying to impose there will on us poor oppressed white folks.

 

I have travelled overseas to places where I had to take my shoes of or respect a religion that I don't believe in but I am happy to comply because I am not an ignorant tosser.  

 

Aside from the cultural reasons and for me even more important are the environmental reasons.   I can not go on a cave tour and climb a neat looking stalagmite, in fact I may not be even allowed to touch it, but that is OK I am a grown up, I understand.   

 

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Are people as outraged at the restrictions around climbing Balls Pyramid?

 

"Climbing was banned in 1982 under amendments to the Lord Howe Island Act, and in 1986, all access to the island was banned by the Lord Howe Island Board. In 1990, the policy was relaxed to allow some climbing under strict conditions, which in recent years has required an application to the relevant state minister.[5]

 

Perhaps there should be similar restrictions on Uluru i.e. limited by permit and take away the ugly chain.

 

You can visit Uluru and walk do some of the many walks around it, you can photograph it especially at dusk and dawn you go for a flight around and over it, the fact you can no longer climb it seems to be not such a problem at least to me.     

 

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I went to Uluru for the first time 5.5 years ago. Something about the place touched me in a way I had never felt before. Instead of my planned 2 days there, I spent 5 days. 

 

I walked around it, rode around it and studied it from every place that I could find. I actually went looking for local people to talk to them about it.

 

Having grown up in an area that had a large indigenous community and having best mates who were indigenous I felt strangely connected to the local people at Uluru.

 

I was treated so well and given so much of the local story of the area and taken to places that I had walked past but not seen that I left being even more in awe of the place.

 

I left feeling that had I wanted to climb then I would have been welcomed to by the local elders.

 

Having said that, I left also feeling absolutely no urge to climb it even if my body at the time would have allowed it.

 

I have no trouble believing that in is one of many sacred sights within a days walk, and I could easily go back and spend another 5 days and still feel as though I had more to learn.

 

Uluru was also the 2nd step on my flying journey, 50 years after my 1st step, but that is a different story.

 

 

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Having visited that area a number of times, I quite enjoy the colours and shapes on and around Uluru. Quite delightful to see it when cold and wet, with rain tumbling down. However it has never really "moved" me. One time, whilst awaiting the sunrise colours(along with a mob of shivering camera wielding tourists), I looked over my shoulder, away from the 'rock'.

 

There in the distance stood Kata Tjuta. It's domes poked up through the ground mist, and glowed gold in the first rays of sunshine. That "moved" me spiritually. I turned my camera away from Uluru. I simply HAD to go and walk through them. And although I have no real reason to be 'connected', that place felt very special to me.

 

It's a personal thing. That feeling of connectedness.

 

 

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The ban on climbing Uluru is just a little restriction on us. There are far larger parts of this continent that you and I are not allowed to enter, and I don't mean Defence areas. It is an offence to enter this area, bounded by the black line, just south of Wedderburn:

 

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Similarly, the Burragorang Valley from near Mittagong to Warragamba is a prohibited area.

 

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OME, these areas are restricted in order to protect the water supply catchments from pollution. I'm sure that you are aware of this. Separate concept to "sacred sites". I have no spiritual "beliefs" but think that those who have cultural taboos need to have these protected from ignorant tourist's depredations. The climbers leave a destructive legacy - it's not as though their trespass is innocent nor harmless.

 

 

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ALL of Australia should be a sacred site. Don't throw bottles, cans, containers, car bodies and $#!T everywhere you barbarians and expect other s to pick it up after you. As a late teens person I did a lot of bushwalking and "WE" had a rule of leave no evidence of being there which involved burning any tins and burying them and they would rust away quickly. No Glass to break and injure people, Clean seeds etc from shoes and clothes. Pretty much everywhere you go you see rubbish. WE are the rubbish. You reap what you sow.  Nev

 

 

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facthunter. You have hit a sore spot with me. I am a bushwalker of many years standing, or rather walking. It really saddens me to se the rubbish we Australians litter our country with.

 

Go on any publicised walk and you will find rubbish, but I must admit it is less now than ten years ago. Even worse just look at our roadsides. I pick up rubbish every morning when I do my early walk. Along 1.5km of back road I seldom fail to pick up a plastic bag or drink can. I feel sorry for MacDonalds as the amount of their garbage seems to have dropped of significantly since the big construction jobs in Gladstone closed down. Cold weather also seems to lessen the roadside rubbish, it is too cold to open the window to throw it out. Pity the cold is only a month or so.

 

When I went to Uluru, many years ago I elected not to climb the rock, because the aborigines didn't want us to. Since then I have been approached by aborigines who asked me what I knew of sacred sites or artwork in the area of our local dam which was being raised. When I aid I was not aware of any and asked if I could join them on an exploratory walk in the area, they were horrified. Happy to pick my brains, but not happy to let me help them and maybe learn something.

 

 

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I was shocked when, on our recent trip to "the Outback", the roadside looked like an endless garbage tip. Plastic bottles, food containers, everything from discarded tyres to oil bottles, you name it. I had expected that Australians would be appreciative of the open native landscape and would want it preserved in as spotless a state as possible. Deeply disappointed.

 

 

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I recently returned from o/s and when we landed was disgusted with the way passengers(most)trashed the aircraft,used cups,tissues,bottles,and all sorts of rubbish even soiled nappies were left on the floor and seats,disgusting and you think people wont trash this great  country  of ours oh and by the way 50% of the people were not white australians welcome to australia

 

 

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I too pick up rubbish on my morning walks. Sometimes I quietly lament the lack of deposit legislation which would stop it in its tracks.Fast-food containers are the most prevalent items of rubbish. Aborigines are worse litterers than most, and yes I am aware that litter is all made by whitefellers. Why should desert aborigines have a culture of picking up rubbish? Any more than washing themselves. Both impossible in their native state.

 

At  least the NT now has deposits on glass bottles. It should be much more, and applied to more things. ( Copying SA after about 50 years of doing nothing. There must be big-money people against deposits).

 

But around here, my small effort does make a difference. A bit of rubbish, once picked up, stays picked up.

 

 

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Well I'm really glad some are concerned. It's always given me the irits. On the way to the Farm  (Lake Boga) a car passed and dumped a heap of stuff out the window and I phoned the police in the town ahead (Kerang) and they apprehended them and laid charges, Switzerland and Germany are clean places (or were when last I went there)..  Nev

 

 

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Back to the rock,

 

It is their land and their sacred site. 

 

If anyone can't accept that, fine, get off the planet.

 

A stupid girl almost died this week climbing, her parents should be ashamed. They should not have given any grace period for climbing. It should just have been banned the day the decided.

 

Bruce, what is sitdown money?

 

Or is welfare only for white people?

 

 

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There was a chap on ABC Morning, saying that some of the reasons for closing the rock climb were people who have fallen having to be rescued and evacuated, and disgusting a*holes defecating on top of the rock and leaving soiled disposable nappies there.

 

 

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