Courtney Allan

Travel Trouble

Shocking photo reveals BIG problem with Uluru: “It makes me sick"

Shocking photo reveals BIG problem with Uluru: “It makes me sick"

A shocking new photo has emerged of the hordes of tourists who are trying to climb Uluru before it officially closes.

A photo was taken at the base of Uluru which shows the amount of people trying to climb it. The picture shows a queue of people snaking up the landmark, as hundreds are arriving daily to climb it before the deadline of October 26.

The traditional landowners, known as the Anangu people, and Alice Springs locals say that the impact of the tourists has been “the busiest they’ve seen it”.

“There’s cars parked for one kilometre on either side of the road leading up to the carpark at the base,” an unnamed photographer who supplied the photo to ABC Alice Springs said.

About 140 people were climbing the rock each day when the ban was announced in 2017, but those numbers have skyrocketed to between 300 to 500 people per day as the ban approaches.

Stephen Schwer, chief executive of Tourism Central Australia, has told the ABC that tourists are trespassing, camping illegally and dumping rubbish on private lands.

“(Tourists) think they’re doing a good thing by free camping along the way; what they are actually doing is trespassing on pastoralist and joint-managed and protected land, and a lot of people don’t seem to be getting that message,” Mr Schwer said.

“When there is the kind of influx of drive travel as we are seeing at the moment, there is an influx of waste.”

Lindy Severin, the owner of Curtin Springs station, which is about 100 kilometres away from Uluru, has said thousands of tourists travelling in caravans have been dumping their toilet tanks onto the roads.

“There are limited areas to dispose of black waste in Central Australia — it’s either Alice [Springs] or Ayers Rock near here — and we’ve got visitors who don’t want to stand in queues to dump waste,” Ms Severin told the ABC.

“There’s just rubbish everywhere, [including] used toilet paper.”

Traditional landowners are devastated at the amount of people rushing to climb Uluru before the cut-off date, despite the common knowledge that climbing Uluru is deeply offensive.

“It makes me sick looking at this photo at the disrespect and disregard shown for the traditional owners’ wishes,” said a spokesperson from the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation to

“Not only do people climb it but they defecate, urinate and discard nappies and rubbish on it.

“I for one cannot wait for the climb to be permanently closed and our sacred lore, culture and traditions to be acknowledged and respected.”