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We asked ‘Should the Uluru climb be re-opened?’ – and these are the results of our poll with 3000 votes

Last week the ABC News published an article about calls to re-open the Uluru climb coming from Dave Batic who is Chairman of the Alice Springs Major Business Group and general manager of Alice Springs airport.

The Uluru climb was officially closed permanently on October 26th 2019.

Mr Batic is proposing that re-opening the Uluru climb would be a positive way to stimulate a resurgence of tourism later this year, following the negative impact on NT tourism from closing of the climb last year and the current coronavirus pandemic.

“The concept there is that the traditional owners would provide tours for paying climbers and have a safety harness system in place just like the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” he said.

Not everyone agrees though with traditional owner and former Chairman of the Uluru Kata-Tjuta Board of Management, Sammy Wilson firmly against the idea.

“No. Enough is enough. The word is no,” said Mr Wilson, who remains on the board.

“We don’t want to open a can of worms or put more logs on the fire.”

So we thought that it would be worthwhile asking our followers who are primarily Aussie road trippers of all ages and demographics, what you thought.

Over 5000 people clicked through to the article on our site from our newsletter and social media and nearly 3000 cast their vote.

Here are the results of our poll so far

The poll is still open if you’d like to add your vote.

Surprisingly 62% of respondents are in favour of re-opening the climb in one form or another with 42% in favour of keeping it free without guides or harnesses.

It’s definitely a polarising subject with commenters on our article and our Facebook post in general being strongly for or against the climb and very few taking a middle of the road stance.

You do not need to climb Uluru to experience / appreciate the beauty and spiritual awareness that abounds.


Should never have been closed open it for everyone


It’s a rock a big rock it should be open to everyone to enjoy I climbed it and I’m glad I did it is just beautiful at the top

belinda campbell (via facebook)

I can see the benefits of a managed climb and would have been happy to see that implemented as an alternative to it being closed completely.

It seems to me that a managed climb would have solved the main concerns of the traditional owners of peoples safety and the general disrespect being shown by some visitors.

However this is just my opinion and I don’t feel qualified to say what I think ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be done.

If the consensus of the traditional owners and the board of management is that it should remain closed then I respect that.

Regardless of whether the climb re-opens or not (and I doubt that it will), definitely include a few days at Uluru on your NT road trip itinerary. It’s a magical place that you have to experience up close to fully appreciate.

The walk around the base is great, sunset drinks are a must and a walk through the domes of nearby Kata Tjuta is also a great way to spend a day.

Affiliate Links: Some of the links on our site are affiliate links which means that if you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. This helps us to run the site and keep the wheels turning and adds no cost to your purchase. We would never recommend a product or service that we don't use ourselves or trust.


Steve Baile
Steve Baile
I’m the founder of Expedition Australia, a writer, filmmaker & adventure travel junkie. Passionate about my family, health and fitness, hiking, 4WD touring, adventure motorbikes, camping and exploring as much of the planet as I can.


  1. I first visited Uluru over 20 years ago, and climbed the rock. An amazing experience.
    We did a tour with a local Aboriginal guide the day before. He showed us some Sacred Sites at the base of the rock, which we respected. However he said that the rock itself was not Sacred but a landmark of significance and there was really no reason not to climb it. So what has changed?

    • You hit the nail on the head Jan, it’s amazing how over the years things change to suit people. It is exactly as you said: it’s a landmark an Australian natural wonder. It’s beautiful from all angles from the top to the bottom and everyone should be entitled to visit, walk, hike whatever your heart desires. I feel annoyed that due to low tourism it is now ok to walk on again. They should make their minds up and stick to it.

      • The Traditional Owners have made up their mind and will stick to it. It always was a sacred site, one of the most important in the region. Have spoken to the Traditional Owners about this and they say it has always been a sacred site. They even told me some of the dreaming stories about the place.

  2. Its interesting how a lot of white people think its their right to walk over a place that is sacred to aboriginal people.
    Lets open all the cathedrals in Australia to climbers and see how the Christians react! Its a sacred site to our first nations people. Its their decision and should be respected.
    (by the way I am not Aboriginal)

  3. Been there twice but never climbed it. Not coz i didnt want to coz i wanted to hit a bucket of golf balls off it…. but after seeing all the info about the local aboriginals i respect their views about thousands of people climbing their sacred site. I mean how would whitey feel if thousands of aboriginals climbed all over their churches and gravestones? Yeah not so good now is it? First peoples own it and they should have the last say on it. If you want to climb the biggest monolith theres a bigger one in wa that is ok to climb

    • lol Shedz – according to your argument about First Peoples owning it, then everyone should vacate Australia and leave it to the Aboriginals, and you know that’s not going to happen.

      • The site is a sacred site within lands that were colonised. The “argument” made is saying exactly that. Those that occupy Australia should recognise and respect the culture of the First Peoples.

  4. People,
    Where’s the respect?
    The elders don’t want The Rock climbed so don’t climb it.

  5. Nelly everything we see and believe, that’s beautiful and unique within Australia, we are left wondering if it’s for us Australian’s.
    Why? Because all of a sudden, sum aboriginals claim it. So there for, now it belongs to them (whatever it may be) and is there a financial gain, one way or another??
    Believe it or not, I do respect the aboriginal elders and there sacred sites (original painting sites).
    The rock is NOT sacred. It’s AUSTRALIA. (Unique and beautiful)
    So reopen it.

  6. I think it should be open to climb but believe that it is to be respected and supervised at all times. We visited the rock 3 yrs ago with our exchange student from Norway but unfortunately it was so windy for the 3 days that we didn’t get to climb it. Our boys are indigenous and I would love for them to be able to experience the climb now that they are older.

  7. So far, I have never been close enough to see it. However, it is on my bucket list before I crock-it! Evan if I only get to circle the rock I’d be happy with that. My daughter with kid in back pack and hubby climbed it 22yrs ago and they came home with some awesome photos. If they keep borders closed indefinitely I might not see it.

  8. i have seen a” hundred thousand photos” of ularu (ayers rock).. if i have the choice to, climb the rock,or just walk around it,or sit back and admire it,, i WILL go to the rock,,,BUT if i dont have the choice to climb or not ,,,,, i wont be going there!!!!

  9. I saw the rock for the first time 2 yrs ago & was in awe of it from the first sight of it & YES I didnt climb it not because I didnt want to but to health issues. OK to to other side of the discussion I dont care if they open it or not but bare in mind once you close something & then want to reopen it you have to take into consideration a whole lot of new issues to deal with health & safety, risks factors etc. SO if they open to anyone & everyone are they going to get then to sign an indemnity form so the operators cannot be sued if there is an accident even a good Lawyer could make a claim stick for compensation if 1 was made even if a form had been signed. NOW to the point of opening it up to guided tours & safety harnesses this might sound a bit extreme but they have on the Storey Bridge in Brisbane & on the Sydney Harbour Bridge at least this way everyone would be kept safe & not have 200 odd people trying to climb up it or getting back down & pushing pass each other. So there is a lot to consider those for it to open & those who want tit to remain closed & those who are willing to pay for it & OF course there are us ones that are just happy to go there sit near it & look at it at SUNSET with a BEER or a GLASS of wine & enjoy the view of it all

  10. I’m all for respecting a culture, but correct me if I’m wrong, these so called First people were not the first to settle in Country, they crossed from PNG before the icean covered the land and cannibalised the original occupants.
    I didn’t climb the rock out of respect, I also didn’t pay the exorbitant prices for their souvenirs.
    Like all cultures it really comes down to how can we profit from this ‘Sacred’ land.
    I for one won’t entertain a paid supervised climb, this makes it no different to a theme park.
    I refuse to be charged for something nature produced, not people, not culture, not traditions.
    Churches and Cathedrals are man made by the greedy and selfish few, however they too are beautiful to admire. And are not there for me to deface or climb.
    I’m not concerned if they open up the Rock again, as to just walk around it is itself a wondrous sight. I’m happy to pay a reasonable fee for the upkeep of the area, but not for them to capitalise on.

  11. Who actually “owns” the land the “Rock” sits on? I respect The Aboriginal people but cannot see why it should be closed to Australians and Travelers from all over the world. It is famous and if travelers wish to climb it for the views from the top let them.
    We do not have to pay to explore the best of Australia! There are a lot of places of natural beauty to explore in this vast country – how many of these will then follow this trend of charging! I can understand charging for man-made structures like bridges, Churches etc. but disagree with charging to climb the rock. I have been at the base of the Rock and respect the Aboriginal drawings there and at lots of other places.
    If climbers want to pay a guide and feel the need of a harness let that be an option. And do not close The Rock!

  12. Open the climb, for a small fee to the traditional owners, let everyone benefit. Without tourism, which is sure to have dropped with the closure, the traditional owners are missing out on funds. It is a rock, how much damage can be done, by walkers who cant go off the track.

  13. I guess after a short while of being closed, the owners are missing the tourists, open it, so everyone can enjoy it.

  14. Its not a big game trophy to strutt about on.
    I cant believe peoples’ bloated sense of entitlement. Just dont climb it

  15. Re open the climb to all free of any further charges- it should not have been closed in the first place – look at how many rushed to do the climb before it closed – they could not handle the crowds. Someone said to me ‘just watch they will re-open the climb when the tourists numbers fall but will charge $100 for the experience’ – I wonder if that will come a reality?

  16. Sarah and I (Chris) from Melbourne, did our first major road trip to the Red Center and back. It was August 2019, about 3 weeks before the close of the climb.
    Out of respect to this sacred site, we did not climb it. We just had time off so a road tip to get to the center and experience it, iIt was not about Climbing the rock.

    We did the base walk and just loved it. took just over 3 hours, and the many aspects, wind, stillness, quietness all made this an amazing experience.

    We also experienced the Olga’s, Kings Canyon, West McDonald Ranges as well, which was also awesome. So the whole trip as fantastic, and we never regretted not climbing the rock.
    The rangers talked about how it was promoted “concur the rock” to get the tourists there.

    I think there is so much to see and do there, the Rock climb is not a big deal that it is closed. Plus we saw a few traumatised people coming down the rock, feaking out how high it is up there and how steep.

  17. I am an Aussie (old one). Travelled far and wide this world in my lifetime. I love Aus and all that it has to offer and have been fortunate enough to see lots of it. I have seen the rock many times, flown around it, walked around it, sat and looked at it, dusk and dawn, and spoke with the locals about its history. It is magnificent, every time. Aboriginal culture interests me, as do many other cultures of which I have great respect for all. Yes, I have climbed the rock, only once in my life, and that would make me a hypocrite if I said others should not have the opportunity as I did. I hope there is middle ground here, for culture to be respected, safety to be considered and the rock enjoyed for all people.

  18. In 2007 I visited the Rock for first (and likely last) time in my 74 years. Base walked it one day and climbed it (slowly and carefully) the next. Took my time, sitting often, took in the views and marvelled at its’ awesome structure and presence. It’s such a special thing for anyone who appreciates nature. The climb experience was the best of all.
    Banning the climb during dangerous weather conditions made sense and the rangers were correct to do so.
    Extending that to a total ban due to “cultural beliefs” however is, I believe, a falsehood, invented to suit the new “owners” who had been given the surrounding lands as part of an agreement made in 1986 for management of the Park.
    As part of that arrangement, which has been of great financial benefit to the Anangu people, it was agreed that the climb would be maintained for any who wished to do so.

    This agreement has been broken. The owners should now reduce their fees for Park visitation and eliminate them entirely for any who are merely passing through the area, as is the case for anyone travelling along the Eyre Highway, through the land of the Yalata Community in South Australia.

  19. If you have never climbed the rock and walked to the geodetic cairn you will never fully appreciate the beauty and spirituality of the area.

    The experience could be improved by traditional owners providing talks walks and guides on and around the rock build the story don’t destroy it.

    As a protest I am avoiding all of the Northern Territory as a tourist destination as I find closure as offensive to all Australians and overseas visitors

    • I for one hope that you, at least do your research during your so called “protest.” While you may find the closure as being “offensive to all Australians and overseas visitors, ” I’m sure you’d like to know that the Indigenous peoples of Australia have only been able to vote for the past 60 years. Tell me. How long have white Australians been able to vote for? I’m sure you’d also like to know that they have only been considered as being “people” within the last 54 years. I think that letting Aboriginal peoples have control over their land in which they rightfully own is the least white Australia can do. Don’t you think?

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