A litany of lies to end the rock climb at Ayers Rock

A stirring presentation by Marc Hendrickx at the Friedman Conference describing the outrageous falsehoods advanced by Parks Australia and the Board to justify closing the climb.

On the 26th of October in just 155 days the Board of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park with the blessing of Parks Australia will ban the climb to the summit of Ayers Rock. Along with the ban on climbing Park Authorities will also be removing the Summit monument, chain and 5 memorial plaques on the Rock. In breach of the lease agreement that requires Parks Australia to preserve, protect and manage cultural heritage to the highest possible standards we are about to see one of the greatest acts of cultural vandalism in recent history and barely a whisper has been raised in opposition. The exhilarating climb that reveals world heritage listed views has been undertaken by over 7 million visitors since the Park was declared in 1958. The climb is not only special to tourists but it is important to Aboriginal Culture.

Read all about it.

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36 Responses to A litany of lies to end the rock climb at Ayers Rock

  1. I’ve climbed the rock and it’s the only reason for visiting, as evidenced by the thousands of especially overseas tourists that go there each year. I wonder what the thoughts will be if tourism drops off and the Uluru resort etc start to lose business. Soon they’ll close off the Olgas as well. Might as well close the whole place.

    One used to be able to camp pretty much at the base of The Rock, as well as the shores of Lake Dalhousie, within Kings Canyon and likewise many other places. Not now. Glad I was able to do all of this nearly 40 years ago.

  2. teamv

    Agree with bemused.
    The only reason to go is the rock so everyone loses with this ban.

    On the up side, the natives won’t get to demand crazy prices any more.

  3. mh

    So no human will be able to climb that rock ever. As if.

    Like Enoch Powell said about the European common market, if your clock is wrong you put it right.

  4. nb

    I think we need a representative council in parliament so cultural sites throughout Australia can be progressively closed down. Am I correct in thinking the whole landscape of Australia is sacred?

    To do list:
    Rewrite welcome to country to offer entire GDP to offset my trespass;
    Research medieval structures to ensure maximum vassalage to my new overlords;
    Ring farming friends in South Africa for tips (Oh, whoops, they’re dead);
    purchase second passport.

  5. notafan

    oh well

    a lot less tourists

    win win

  6. Genghis

    you may have climbed the rock nearly as the same time as I. The now ‘Secret Mens & Women’s caves’ were open and photographs taken. Gosh we live in stupid times when the VERY VOCAL minority appear to speak for the majority. Go the Libs, but don’t blow it.

  7. Roger

    Along with the ban on climbing Park Authorities will also be removing the Summit monument, chain and 5 memorial plaques on the Rock.

    I’m sure the Rock will feel better after that.

  8. you may have climbed the rock nearly as the same time as I. The now ‘Secret Mens & Women’s caves’ were open and photographs taken.

    Yes indeed and I recollect that you could walk the entire circumference of the rock (if you felt so inclined) apart from one small section that was the local ‘village’.

  9. John A

    Hmm, Arthur Upfield will not be pleased.

    I dare say he is spinning in his grave.

  10. I’m really happy actually. I’ve never seen the wisdom in handing over millions of dollars to stone age people.

  11. None

    It’s staggering that on Avatar can just do that research and blow up the lies and their Miss in one well documented post but the entire Australian media and Australian government and public Servants can’t f****** well recognise a fact if they fell over it.

  12. Dr Fred Lenin

    What about turning the rock into a quarry? All that rock could be ued surfacing NT road system for many years ,worth thinking about ,wouldnt that piss the left and fauxberiginals right off . Take their tiny minds off this constitutional destruction plot .

  13. bollux

    Make the welfare for these bludgers commensurate with the tourist traffic. That might smarten them up.

  14. Titch

    Of course it isn’t sacred or mystical. However, if you were a nomadic tribe of people wandering the desert for generations, and using physical geographic sites to orientate yourself during your lifetime, the major ones would figure in your understanding of your actual area of country that you moved across. So it becomes totemic due to history. There is nothing much else to focus on, anyway, across the vast expanse of red dirt. Still doesn’t make it of such importance that only people with an aboriginal background should have access. This is nothing but hocus pocus mumbo jumbo religious nonsense, pushed by the aboriginal industry to the dopey lefty apologists who go along with it. I don’t want to climb it, but I can smell a fairy story dressed up as “culture” a mile away.

  15. Pyrmonter


    How happy would you be if tourists turned up at Chez Champion, insisted that its roof offered unsuprassed views, and sought to climb onto it?

    Having heard Marc’s talk at Friedman, while I can see the practical/utilitarian merits in it, it proceeded on the basis that the rock was some sort of public property. It’s owned. And not by the people who want to walk on it. Why shouldn’t the owners have the final say? What value is property and ownership if it doesn’t confer the right to exclude non-owners, at will?

  16. Rafe Champion


    Apparently you heard a different talk from the one that I attended.

  17. Pyrmonter,
    No issue with the owners exercising their property rights. They are free to run it as a private park, but while it’s a National Park and the tax payer is subsidising half the running costs it’s only fair we all get a say on where we can go, especially when the lease supposedly ensures our cultural heritage is being preserved and protected.

  18. iamok

    Did it in 1974 and it was magnificent. What a travesty this is.

  19. wal1957

    I wonder how long it will take before they realise how many tourists will not bother even going to view Ayers Rock now. The lack of tourism dollars is going to hurt the local economy very badly.
    The idiots are in control and they have no idea which path they are on!

  20. Jessie

    The tourists will be herded into groups and have a local guide ($$) to take them around explaining the 65,000 years of habitation. Or see the Rock from the various viewing platforms. This will serve 2 purposes:
    1. local employment of ‘rangers’ which will satisfy many KPIs including the monolith of environmentalism and govt expenditure on the same
    2. no one climbing the rock under their own steam (ie as an individual/family) but rather as a group viewing a religious icon/wonder. It has been shaped to be spiritual experience.

    Rainbow Valley recently went under, stories about the traps state the road will be closed to tourists.
    Coober Pedy isn’t looking too good
    Mintabie is going going…… gone
    Lake Eyre is a pain to visit due to caveats
    Most of the cattle stations are under native title and so forth

    It is a big long road thru the Centre with branches to the east thru Katherine gorges …………. of what was productive industry.
    Plenty of $ royalty return for gravel pits, maintenance roads traversing sites, government grants for the new fanfare of ‘economic [community/cultural] development’ when it all gets opened up for minerals or carbon trading later on. Or tourism. And cultural fire abatement. and saving marsupials.
    Reminds me of Kidman and his canny purchasing really. But he was productive.

    I recall Bess Price ex MP and with Claire Martin had handed back many of the aboriginal owned ‘parks’ to NT Parks with co-management by Aboriginal locals? Makes economic sense 🙂


    A two-day event marking the 30th anniversary of the return of Uluru and Kata Tjuta to the rightful owners has heard the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people have not seen the benefits they should have. ………………………
    Sammy Wilson, chairman of the board of Uluru-Kata Tjuta national park, had earlier told media that government funding was misdirected. He added that the controversial Ayers Rock resort was “sucking everything like a vacuum cleaner from Anangu towards the resort” and Anangu people were missing out.

  21. Clam Chowdah

    A primitive decision brought to you by modern primitive man.

  22. Clam Chowdah

    How happy would you be if tourists turned up at Chez Champion, insisted that its roof offered unsuprassed views, and sought to climb onto it?

    That’s a shit attempt at analogy. The view from a house versus the experience of Uluru. Try harder.

  23. billie

    as if tourists are going to be gulled so easily

    the rock will become a waste of time and effort and people will stop coming

    it would be like going to Nepal and being told you can’t go trekking in the himalayas .. it would end overnight

    all the tourists I have ever met going to or coming from the middle, want to or have climbed the rock

    there’s nothing else out there (is there?)

    is this going to be like the special painting industry where only one mob is allowed to do it, based on race?

    that worked so well didn’t it?

    endless get rich quick schemes don’t replace honest hard work as anyone successful knows

    unintended consequences of greed .. who advises these people or did they come up with this themselves?

  24. Bad Samaritan

    Clam (6.24am). That guy is always playing the dill and, by his monicker, I’m guessing it’s ’cause he’s yet another inner-city Sydenee know-nothing who has plenty of like-minded luvvies…..working at nearby Ultimo….he just needs to impress at all times. Piss-poor analogy from a piss-poor intellect, stuck in a piss-poor neighbourhood, with too much time on his hands.

    Meanwhile, the correct analogy for this bozo is Mt Conner, which is about 100ks before you get to Ayers Rock after turning off the Stuart Highway at Erldunda. This hill (about 300m high), which looks a lot like Ayers Rock on approach is on Curtin Springs station, and despite Bozo McPyrmonterface being correct that the owners are not keen on climbing on their 5 metre high homestead roof, they do indeed try their hardest to get you to climb their rock.

    It’s like this in thousands of places across this earth. You can climb or take a lift up hundreds of monasteries, cathedrals, temples and lotsa other structures and natural features. Instead of sipping soy lattes with his soyboy pals, this inner city Greens’ lover should maybe get out of the Sydney CBD and surrounds at least once before he dies, eh? FFS.

  25. Crossie

    We were all horrified when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan but allow our own Cultural Taliban to do the same here. We may be deplorables and DelCons but our elites are extremists and it’s hard for me not to feel contempt for them just as they do for the average citizens.

  26. Jessie


    Facility closed.4
    Closed due to local politics.5
    Various attempts to re-open the facility however constraints around staffing was always the greatest challenge.5

    Curtin Springs- Primary Production………………….. gone

    Curtin Springs

    Then read further in the Indigenous Law Bulletin
    Kavanagh, Maggie — “Curtin Springs Roadhouse – Ten Years of Community Struggle” [1999] IndigLawB 24; (1999) 4(19) Indigenous Law Bulletin 15

    Peter Severin f Curtin Springs was involved in putting the walking chain on Ayers Rock. Still alive if history is to be recorded truthfully.

  27. I’ve said many a time that when places are closed to public access, such as natural features and national parks, visitors stop going there. They then soon become forgotten and then governments spend less on management and maintenance.

    That’s already evident with the lack of bushfire mitigation and the removal of cattle grazing in the Victorian High Country, in the name of saving the environment but doing the exact opposite. I’ve been observing this for decades and even see it in our local area. Places that were once lovely to visit are now overgrown ruins.

  28. Helen

    Yes Jessie, Peter is still alive.

  29. Pyrmonter

    @ Jessie & Clam

    Do you respect other people’s property?

  30. Clam Chowdah

    Of course. It’s the property of all Australians. And the ruling about climbing is a recent innovation, not linked to actual culture but ginned up by activists and miserabilists high on petty power.

    So to summarise: go fuck yourself.

  31. Bad Samaritan

    Clam (11.24am) Calm down. The inner-city luvvie is not interested in discussion, nor reason, nor rationality. He’s already claimed that people would be as keen to climb Rafe’s roof as Ayers Rock if they had a chance (see 6.07pm yesterday)….which indicates a few missing marbles and rattling screws up-top I’d reckon. Anyhow….

    I don’t know about Rafe or Pyrmonter’s finances, but if 100,000 people a year were willing to pay me $20 each to clambour over my roof, I might (might??) consider it while I bought another place around the corner. Then I’d put up a 20 metre tower at the old place and charge ’em double for a much better view.

    Seriously, that Pyrmont dweller-fella ain’t got a clue about making a buck, I tell’s ya!

  32. Mundi

    You know what’s absurd about this?

    The claims about climbing being sacred are rubbish and seem to have never existed until the 80s.

    From the 50s into the 70s you could pay aboriginal guides to take you up the rock, which they eagerly to engaged in.

    The number of visitors to the rock is now a secret. It tanked from 350,000 in 2005 to under 200,000, after which they refuse to give our numbers. The drop came from all foreigners being told it’s disrespectful/shameful to climb the rock, and this deciding not to bother going. The number of people climbing tanked to under 20% (only the euro descentant Australians typically climb it).

    There has been an uplift recently as Australians rush to have a go before it’s closed forever….

  33. Speedbox

    There has been an uplift recently as Australians rush to have a go before it’s closed forever….

    No doubt, but once the ban is in place, that source will collapse. Then, the foreign visitor numbers will decline as they learn that they can’t climb but only ‘look’. No doubt some operators will try to entice them with other offers but the numbers will fall to a fraction of the current levels. The occasional tourist bus, a few grey nomads…….

    When the jobs are lost (particularly in Yulara but also at Uluru) and businesses struggle and start closing, then the bleating will begin. Tourist operators in Darwin and the Alice will look elsewhere – the tourist demands value for money and they will not travel 450kms south/west of Alice just to look at the Rock.

  34. Jessie

    I haven’t checked of recent but I was under the impression that Yulara Airport was busier than Alice Springs. Not counting smaller aircraft such as RFDS [evacuations], pastoral and legal aid, + remote community mail/passenger/patient to and fro A/S of course. Direct flights for tourists into the Rock.
    Alice, again not counting the public servants and NGO govt funded types, has been a dying town, for years.

  35. Jessie

    Hi Helen,

    Hope all well in your neck of the woods.

    I very much hope a decent biographer has taken Peter Severin’s life history to paper.

  36. Mundi

    Everything about Yulara and ayres rock is basically a scam.

    Only 5 of the 300 people from mutijulu / yulara are local aboriginals employed by the ayres rocket resort (who own the resort, and both camp grounds). The rest have been brought in from far away because of their race. So the notion they did all this for the people of the community is complete rubbish.

    IMO the resort is screwed. The resort does 200,000 room nights per year at 500,000 people. But the park only hits 185,000 because most people are going now than 1 day just not bothering to visit the rock more than once.

    Now here is the real BS. The visitor numbers are only 500 per day. No one is at the bottom counting climbers. And the claim only 16% climb is absurd you can on any day and see several hundred just in the morning. I still think they cherry pick days where they know they having a lot of elderly tour buses come in so they do a sample on a day like that and find that <20% of the visitors climbed.

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