Climbing on Australia’s iconic Uluru landmark, previously known as Ayers Rock, is to be banned from October 2019.
The board of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park voted unanimously to end the practice because the giant red rock is a sacred site for Aboriginal Australians.
There are already signs at the foot of the rock asking people not to climb on it to respect the traditional law of the Anangu Aboriginal people, but these are often ignored.
“It is an extremely important place, not a playground or theme park like Disneyland,” said board chairman and Anangu man Sammy Wilson.
He said the Anangu people had felt intimidation over the years to keep the climb open because it was a top tourist attraction, but they wanted to close it because of its cultural significance.
The climbing ban will start on October 26, 2019, the 34th anniversary of the day that the UNESCO World Heritage site was handed back to the Anangu people.
Tourism Central Australia said it supported the decision, pointing out that the public could still access much of the site.