Backpacking in Australia is one of the must dos for many backpackers travelling the world. Australia is known all throughout the world for its natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and Uluru (which was formerly known as Ayers Rock). In previous decades, climbing Uluru was the highlight of many travellers’ time in Australia. However, today climbing Uluru is an increasingly controversial decision, and there are several factors you should take into account. The owners of Uluru and the surrounding lands, the Indigenous Anangu people, consider Uluru to be a sacred site, and it is extremely disrespectful to climb. Climbing has not yet been banned outright (although a ban was discussed in 2012), but all visitors entering the national park are made aware of the wishes of the Anangu that Uluru not be climbed through signage near Uluru and provide helpful information when the entry fee is paid. 

In any event, if you travel the thousands of kilometres to the centre of Australia in order to climb Uluru, you are likely to be disappointed. The climb to the top of Uluru is extremely strenuous, and is not always necessarily possible even for people of moderate fitness. Climbing on Uluru is prohibited in the summer months (which are December, January, and February in Australia and New Zealand), at other times when the temperature reaches more than thirty six degrees Celsius, on days when there is a possibility of rain, on days with too strong a wind, on days with a chance of thunder storms, on foggy or misty days, and during mourning periods. Thus, in addition to being extremely disrespectful to the owners of the land, the Anangu people, climbing Uluru may not even be possible when you are there, and so is a poor reason to visit the site. Find here about bed and breakfast.

According to an industry website for travel agents promoting the gap year in Australia, in the year 2012 the Australian government introduced a policy (although it is unclear whether it is still in force) that once the proportion of visitors to the Uluru – Kata Tjutu National Park choosing to climb Uluru reached twenty per cent, then climbing would be permanently banned. The current percentage of visitors to Uluru who choose to climb it is just below two fifths, compared to three quarters twenty five years ago.

For backpacking in Australia, it may be more affordable to stick to the east coast, in any case. Uluru is very isolated, being thousands of kilometres away from any city, and the accommodation fees, even for camping, are extremely high. Although many people consider that it is something that they cannot miss, and for them it may be worth the expense, if you’re not dead set on visiting Uluru you might be better off saving your money in order to stay longer or do something else (such as diving on the Great Barrier Reef) that you find more appealing.