If you’ve been living under a giant rock, you may not have heard the news lately… about a giant rock. It’s official: the days of climbing Uluru are now over.
But don’t despair! Not only was climbing this colossal red icon a foolishly dangerous pursuit – leading to several climbers deaths in the past few years – it’s also a sacred indigenous site, and the traditional owners have asked visitors for decades to refrain from walking on it. So in our age of responsible travel, here’s 3 other amazing ways you can travel Uluru respectfully.
Walk the circumference of Uluru
Plant those hiking shoes on terra firma and go horizontal not vertical. The base hike is a 10.6 kilometre loop, weaving around crevices and providing different perspectives of the rock at each turn. Listening to the Tjukurpa,or ‘creation story’ of the Anangu people against this backdrop, is a magical experience.
Take an Insta-worthy sunrise timelapse
Wipe the sleep from your eyes, and head straight to the Sunrise Viewing Area in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Be prepared for some of the prettiest pink, violet and red ochre hues you’ll ever see. If it’s winter, make sure you take a puffy jacket and a beanie, it was a little chilly from memory. And make sure you take that loo stop before you go, you don’t want to miss a thing!
Wanyu Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima. You shouldn’t climb. It’s not the real thing about this place. The real thing is listening to everything. – Anangu People
Kuniya walk to Mutitjulu Waterhole
Situated on the eastern side of Uluru and an easy walk from the Kuniya carpark, here you can see the home of the ancestral watersnake, wanampi. According to the local peoples, Kuniya and Liru, the sand python woman and poisonous snake man, helped create Uluru. It’s a living culture with Kuniya’s spirit still looking over the area. There are also rock etchings which have been created and preserved for millions of years.