People are now banned from climbing Uluru in the desert of Australia's Northern Territory. Uluru is one of the most sacred sites in indigenous Australian culture. It is the world's largest monolith. The site is now off-limits to climbers in recognition of its cultural significance to the traditional owners. The giant site used to be called Ayers Rock. It has been a major attraction for decades. Tourists flocked there in their droves to climb the rock. However, it is a sacred site in Anangu culture. The Anangu custodians campaigned for the ban for a long time.
The ban was first announced in 2017. Most visitors complied with it. Only 16 per cent of visitors have actually climbed it since 2017. A local Anangu man who grew up in a tiny community near Uluru told the BBC about the importance of the rock. He said: "That place is a very sacred place. That's like our church. I've been telling them since I was a little boy, 'We don't want you to climb the rock. All of our stories are on the rock." He said tourists who climbed the rock had no respect. Another resident said: "If I tried to climb on top of that parliament house at Canberra, they wouldn't let me in."