As the ban on climbing Uluru begins this weekend many critics fear it will affect local business as tourists stay away.

But as these images show there's so much more to Australia's most famous natural landmark then a hot and sweaty climb to its top, for instance the 10km/3.5hr walk around its base.

It’s one thing to simply gaze up at the magical sandstone monolith but to really get intimate with this sacred Aboriginal site, it’s necessary to spend some time walking around it.

The rock’s shapes and textures hold knowledge and stories that have been passed down through generations of the Anangu people and are still relevant today.

If you don't want to walk the full 10km then try the 4km Lungkata Walk which showcases many of Uluru's geological highlights.

You can also take a ranger guided walk around Uluru and learn about traditional Anangu culture, rock art and how the park is managed.

And not far away is the Valley of the Winds Walk offering walkers a 7.4km/3-4hr circuit track featuring unique views of Kata Tjuṯa, a group of large, domed rock formations.

In November 2017 the land-mark decision was made by the local Traditional Owners and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board to close the climb for good.

"The dominant reason for the UNESCO World Heritage listing was the living cultural landscape of nature and culture intertwined through traditions over thousands of years," Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park manager, Mike Misso said.

"The closure of the climb enhances the park's world heritage values. It's in conflict if you have got inappropriate visitor activity."

Most of the people who visit Uluru today choose not to climb it. They choose not to climb for many reasons, including their own fitness, but most people say it is out of respect for the local Anangu people. And we at Great Walks think that's good enough. For more info on activities in Uluru click here.

comments powered by Disqus