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World Expeditions Applauds Landmark Decision to end Climbing Uluru

November 2, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Climbing Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre will end in October 2019, following a unanimous decision by traditional owners and national park managers, announced this week.

Traditional owners have long requested that visitors do not climb the rock, both because it is a deeply sacred men’s site and because of the cultural responsibility they feel over the high number of injuries and deaths.

World Expeditions’ Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, said she welcomed the decision and the fact the decision was unanimous.

“Ceasing climbing of Uluru aligns with our core responsible travel value of consulting with local communities about what’s best for the host community and educating travellers accordingly,” Ms Lawrence said.

“World Expeditions has a long history of successful collaboration with local indigenous communities, including the Arrente people in Central Australia on the Larapinta Trail, which has allowed us to develop a world class walk through some of Australia’s remotest and most spectacular landscapes,” she said.

According to the chair of the board, traditional owner Sammy Wilson, local Indigenous people feel strongly that Uluru should not be treated as a playground to climb.

“Whitefellas see the land in economic terms, where Anangu see it as tjukurpa [cultural law]. If the tjukurpa is gone, so is everything,” he said.  “We want to hold on to our culture – if we don’t it could disappear completely in another 50 or 100 years,” Wilson said.

Climbing will cease on October 26, 2019, exactly 34 years after the government officially returned the site to its traditional owners.

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