Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

The Uluru climb closed permanently from 26 October 2019

Uluru has been sacred to Anangu for tens of thousands of years, and climbing Uluru was not generally permitted under Tjukurpa (Anangu law and culture).

Visitors began climbing Uluru in the late 1930s, and to keep people safe, the first section of the climb chain was installed in 1964.

In 1985 Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was handed back to the traditional owners, Anangu, in an event known as Handback. The question of closing the climb was raised, and Anangu spokesman Kunmanara Lester said that while Anangu didn’t like people climbing Uluru it would be allowed for now.

In the 1990s signs were put up at the base of the climb which asked visitors on behalf of Anangu, Please Don’t Climb. As visitors learned more about Anangu culture and their wishes, the number of visitors climbing Uluru began to drop.

In 2010, the release of the Park’s Management Plan signalled the intention to work towards closing the climb. In November 2017, the Board of Management agreed that the criteria which included the number of visitors climbing falling below 20%, voted unanimously to close the climb from 26 October 2019, the 34th anniversary of Handback. This significant decision demonstrates Tjukurpa and Australian law working together in joint management. Our vision is that the park is a place where Anangu law and culture is kept strong for future generations.

Visitors are advised that climbing Uluru is a breach of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act, and penalties will be issued to visitors attempting to do so.

“The land has law and culture. We welcome tourists here. Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration. Let’s come together; let’s close it together.”

— Former Chairman of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management Sammy Wilson