Can you climb Uluru?
Yes, you can still climb Uluru, but only until 26 October 2019, when the climb will close permanently.
In November 2017 the land-mark decision was made by the Traditional Owners of this land and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board to close the climb for good. Effective 26 October 2019, marking the 34th anniversary of the Uluru hand-back, the climb will be closed.
We encourage you to think about the other great ways to experience Uluru - taking a cultural tour or dot painting workshop, a free ranger guided mala walk or one of the self-guided walks to discover the natural wonders of both Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Visit the Cultural Centre first and plan your days in the park.
Read more about the closure of the Uluru climb
Aboriginal traditional owners would prefer visitors not to climb Uluru.
Anangu have a responsibility to teach and safeguard visitors to their land. What visitors call ‘the climb’ is of great spiritual significance to the local Anangu. The climb is not prohibited, but Anangu ask as visitors to their land that you respect their wishes, culture and law by not climbing Uluru.
The path of the climb is associated with important Mala ceremonies. Anangu believe that during the time when the world was being formed, the Uluru climb was the traditional route taken by Mala men when they arrived at Uluru.
Anangu have a duty to safeguard visitors to their land. They feel great sadness if visitors to their land are killed or injured. As such, traditional owners would prefer that as guests to their land, visitors will respect Anangu law and culture by not climbing.
The climb is physically demanding. Do not attempt if you have high or low blood pressure, heart problems, breathing problems, a fear of heights, or you are not reasonably fit.
The Uluru climb is closed:
- when the temperature reaches 36 degrees Celcius or above
- during the hot summer months December, January and February after 8am
- when there is a greater than 20% chance of rain within three hours
- when there is a greater than 5% chance of thunderstorms within three hours
- if the estimated wind speed at the summit reaches 25 knots or above
- if more than 20 per cent of the rock's surface is wet after rain
- if cloud descends below the summit
- the climb may also be closed for cultural reasons
To find out if the climb is open enquire at your hotel reception or at the National Park entry station.
History of the climb
It is believed the first European explorer to climb Uluru was Englishman William Christie Gosse in 1873. However the first recorded climb of this sacred monolith was in 1936 with the introduction of tourism to the region. Since the 1950s when records were first kept, there have been a total of 37 fatalities on the treacherous climb. The most recent fatality was on the 4th July 2018 when a 76 year old Japanese tourist was attempting to ascend one of the steepest parts of the climb when he collapsed. There hadn't been a death on the Uluru climb before this since 2010 when a 54-year old Victorian man collapsed while attempting to reach the top.
In 1966, after two fatalities in 1964 a chain was installed along a portion of the climb, without consultation or consent from the Traditional Owners.The chain was upgraded and ultimately completed in 1976. What will happen with the chain, posts and landmark cairn installed on top of Uluru after the closure of the climb is yet to be determined.