One of the greatest activities to do whilst on holiday is to head to the local attractions and see some of the world’s most impressive sights. However, by doing so we are not only killing these areas but we are also trespassing on some sacred sites.
The recent ban on climbing Uluru in Australia’s Northern Territory has been huge news around the world. Handed back to the Anangu people 34 years ago, this ban has been a long time coming and has prompted calls of bans in other parts of the country too, including from the Jinibara people regarding the Sunshine Coast Mountains in Queensland.
So if tourists are no longer allowed to climb certain attractions – they can still go and look at the inspiring monolith – where can they go?
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
For many years there have been calls for tourists to stop visiting the Great Barrier Reef due to the fact it is dying. Although climate change has been sited for 89% of the issues, tourism has also been blamed. However head to the other side of this great country and you can find the gorgeous Ningaloo Reef, located just 1200kms north of Perth. Here you have the opportunity to swim with gentle whale sharks or humpback whales, view the reef from above in a microlight or go snorkeling in Turquoise Bay. Not only is this area in many ways more beautiful than the Great Barrier Reef, but it is also less busy meaning you can have a better experience.
Also in Western Australia, The Pinnacles are a good alternative to Uluru. These natural limestone structures are a short drive away from the ocean and is the Coral Coast’s biggest natural attraction – although Mount Augustus is also a must-see as it is the biggest rock (monocline) on earth! For a slightly quirkier trip head over to Wave Rock in the Hyden Wildlife Park where you can also find The Humps and The Hippo’s Yawn.
The Three Sisters
With the call to close the Sunshine Coast Mountains, you could always head south to The Blue Mountains and visit the Three Sisters in Katoomba. According to Aboriginal legend, these unusual rock formations represent three sisters who were turned to stone. And thanks to the different seasons, and even the different lights of the day, the views can vary dramatically.
When visiting the centre of Australia and wondering at the enormity of Uluru why not head south to Coober Pedy and visit the town that is essentially underground. Due to the immense heat around 50% of the 2,500 population live underground in ‘dugouts’ and you can find many hotels and restaurants underground too.
Margaret River Caves
If being underground appeals to you then head to Western Australia and visit the caves in Margaret River. The four caves – Mammoth Cave, Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, and Ngilgi Cave – are open for the public but are preserved thanks to the walkways and ban on removing anything natural from them. You can also head further south and see where the ‘two oceans meet’ at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. A popular spot for tourists wishing to see the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean meet.