Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It lies 335 km southwest of the nearest “large” town, Alice Springs (Quite a place-interesting and totally backwards); 450 km by road. Uluru is one of Australia’s most recognizable natural icons. The world-renowned rock stands 348 m (1,142 ft) high with most of its bulk below the ground, and measures 9.4 km in circumference. Uluru is notable for appearing to change color as the different light strikes it at different times of the day and year, with sunset a particularly remarkable sight when it briefly glows red.

Uluru is very cool to see and to climb. However, the local Aborigines do not climb Uluru because of its great spiritual significance. They request that visitors not climb the rock, partly due to the path crossing a sacred traditional Dreamtime track, and also due to a sense of responsibility for the safety of visitors to their land. The Aborigines believe they have a spiritual connection to Uluru, and feel great sadness when a person dies or is injured whilst climbing which totals about 7 deaths per year.
Climbing Uluru is still a popular attraction for visitors as most people choose to ignore the Aborigines wishes and climb anyway as I reluctantly did. A chain handhold added in 1964 and extended in 1976 makes the hour long climb easier, but it is still a long and steep hike to the top, where it can be quite windy-just ask my friend Jake who stopped a quarter of the way up because of the windy conditions and that damn water bottle he dropped which scared the heck out of him-it is a steep dropoff. The good news for him was that the two little Japanese girls (and nearly everyone else) that were in our group made the top and were fine.

The Aborigines also ask that you not photograph the rock for their own beliefs. However, there is a gift shop that sells expensive photos of the rock and its different colors near the base of the rock. Like the climb, apparently nothing is sacred anymore so everyone still just takes pictures anyway.
Uluru is a really nice place to see. It is literally in the middle of nowhere in the red center of Australia and a pain in the butt to get to but well worth the trip. Camping out in the desert shows you some of the clearest and best starry skies you will ever see. The choice to climb is yours but as you will see, most people will at least try but my only advice is don’t drop your water bottle.

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  1. I chose not to climb because I wanted to respect the wishes of the native people. I think it’s very rude and selfish to climb it and take pictures because it is their land-not ours.

  2. I climbed it and enjoyed the climb-it was windy which added to the fun. The whole red center of Oz is interesting and very fun.

  3. It rained for the first time in a year when I was there, so the climb was closed. Don’t think I would’ve made it to the top anyway though!!

    There are parts that are not allowed to be photographed as you walk around the base of the rock, but most parts are ok to take pictures of. Absolutely beautiful at sunrise and sunset…

  4. I climbed Uluru. Brilliant climb, tough but fun and it was especially nice at the top when it goes hilly and you have to run up certain parts of the rock to get up and hang on for your life.

  5. It is a shame so many people are ignoring the request not to climb the rock. imply to walk around it is impressive enough, and that way you do not disrespect the traditional owners

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