Now that the Rock can't be climbed, visiting it will cost more


Above: From the Tourism NT website.

Now that the Uluru climb is closed, people visiting the national park are going to be slugged a lot more.
Go figure.
Admissions to the Uluru National Park will rise sharply on November 1 next year.
Annual passes “valid for driver and all passengers in the vehicle” will increase from $65 to $109.
The parks service says adult park use fees will go up “in line with CPI from $25 to $38 for a three-day pass, and from $32.50 to $50 for an annual pass”.
That’s a surprising calculation given that the CPI increase for the year ending September 2019 was just 1.7%.
The parks service says 25% percent of the increase in fees will be paid “to traditional owners, as direct payments and for community development projects”.
Meanwhile the new brand developed by Tourism NT at a cost of $800,000 for “research, development, market testing and creative elements such as illustrations” is slow in catching on.
None of the 12 business staff we asked in a random telephone survey today could name Different in Every Sense or Sense the Surreal as the new brand.
And while the Boundless Possible brand has an awfully similar looking and sounding predecessor in Dubai, Tourism NT’s brand new brand is not a bit different to the tagline used by USA motorcycle legend Erik Buell (pictured).
Form his website: “A liquid-cooled, Rotax-built V-twin made the 1125R the first non-Harley-Davidson-powered Buell … has features like a fuel-bearing frame and inside-out front brake underlined Buell’s ‘Different in Every Sense’ tagline.” There it is!
Nevertheless Tourism NT is plugging away getting locals involved in making tourism great again, encouraging them to using these words: “Larrikin charm, cosmopolitan, welcome, welcoming, warm, laidback, shared experiences, creative, young at heart, untamed spirit, comfortable, open, invitation, hearts and minds, sacred history, adventurous, sense of place, diversity, youthful charm, Territorian, local.”
Get it?
The Tourism NT website says this advice “will start to inform your marketing messages around how your business is ‘Different in every sense’.
“The brand’s core essence can be used individually or combined when talking about any experience, location or event associated with your business.”


  1. At least you get three days of entry for the ticket. Too bad that it’s about $250 of camp fees for the same time.

  2. Ah well. Now the climb-it item will be scratched off a lot of bucket lists of “Things to Do Before I go to the Great Beyond” and replaced with the item “Increase Credit Card Limit for trip to the Red Desert” and “Check Local ATM Availability – at the Olgas?”

  3. We should all boycott this grab for money. Just bypass The Rock and go Alice Springs and other attractions and then to the Devil’s Marbles for free.
    There are many other attractions in the NT, this one has priced itself out of the market.
    Long term they will have to drop it to survive.

  4. What to do in three days at Yulara, except spend money in the resort or join the endless row of buses drinking cheap champers at inflated prices, amidst the fumes from the tour buses?
    Go around The Rock three times between meals?
    Keep them there so the rest of us can enjoy what is left of the NT.
    It is a sad fact that this type of tourism destroys the very thing that the visitors come to see, and creates an artificial scarcity so they can increase prices.
    Shortly there will be traffic lights and a four million $ roundabout at the Purnie bore intersection in the Simpson and parking meters at Dalhousie, or toll roads just like home in Melbourne to make our visitors feel comfortable. Boundlessly possible!

  5. This is a great reason that Tourism NT and Tourism Central Australia should be getting on the bandwagon and re-invent Alice Springs as a prime destination and a place to visit and stay, to see our terrific attractions here.

  6. It costs $46 for an adult spring pass at Niagara Falls ($66 AUD). $35 for children ($51 AUD). Add $10 for car entry ($14.52 AUD) and you can’t swim in Niagara Falls. A lot of the comments around Uluru are just plain mean spirited.

  7. Trevor: I have been a guide at Uluru Kata Tjuta NP. In answer to your specious query, may I suggest;
    1. Yes, walk around the rock, slowly.
    2. Walk into Walpa Gorge, then watch the sunset at Kata Tjuta (and have an evening picnic).
    3. Walk the full Valley of the Winds walk.
    4. Spend a few hours in the cultural centre.
    5. And yes, you’d probably want to see the sunset on Uluru.

  8. Tourists have been dropping off for years.
    It costs a fortune to get here, hotels charge like wounded bulls and are fit with late 70s decor, WiFi connectivity is dodgy AND you have to pay for it, there are no pools with day parties raging with dance music and cheap booze (see Bali), our national parks are full of cattle and buffel grass that breed up the fly-swarms, lack of tourism products coupled with often poor customer service in retail, and social issues and safety act as a deterrent.
    Is the closure of The Rock climb or gate entry price hikes really causal to our tourism woes? In the big scheme of things, likely not.

  9. I am in total agreement with Charlie. As an accredited tour guide for the park I have accompanied a lot tourists of all nationalities and with nearly every tour company.
    I never had a demand for climbing Uluru and enjoyed plenty of walks and activities, with each time a different experience.
    Doing the full Valley of the Winds walk is more rewarding for the body and soul than climbing Uluru.
    Spend some time in the cultural centre, in the visitors centre and learn some biology, botany and geology and especially learn that Uluru is neither a rock or a monolith but an Inselberg, literally “island mountain”.

  10. In 1983 the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation had a time trial up the Rock planned.
    African athletes, Australian champs and Aboriginal athletes.
    Once around the Rock is exactly 10k. From the Olgas to the Rock and once around is exactly the 42.2k distance of a marathon.
    The time trial was to be televised and we had international magazine AfroSport and its owner journo Bobby Naidoo based in London on board to promote it.
    Then along came Charlie and Clyde and politics. In an eye blink we went from chocolates to boiled lollies. Politics. Very sad.

  11. Thank you, Erwin, as you write and inform:
    1. Could you provide monthly accomodation figures on the to-be mothballed or closed accommodation motels and hotels or venues at Yulara over the next 12 months?
    2. Could you advise the gate numbers which supply the income on a six-monthly basis to the traditional owners?
    3. Will any traditional owner be paid any regular gate-money which they rely on to buy cars etc?
    4 In view of the above when will they change their mind?
    5. My old mate who was the senior TO man once said in relation to the above loss of gate-money “Let them climb!”

  12. Ha. All these people talking about the cost obviously don’t go to AFL footy or movies or concerts etc.
    Come on. Most people do this once in a lifetime. The new bucket list for those who no longer climb is to actually walk or ride all the way around.
    Oh and please don’t bother going overseas to see great natural wonders either. Because you will obviously stop short at the gate with your stubborn attitude to not pay there either.
    If it’s all too much for you then just stay at home and watch it on Google earth.

  13. It IS a rip-off, it always has been, it is no news.
    However, I can’t believe that’s all y’all are worried about.
    Don’t you worry about WHAT’s really underneath there?
    Or WHY they don’t want us on that Rock anymore?
    That cultural thing is just a cover.
    Sheeple, sheeple, sheeple.

  14. Uncle Hucklebuck: Top secret. UFO land on the top, there is a tunnel which goes up to Pine Gap.
    Once I told this to a tourist who believed me and put it on his blog.

  15. @ Scott: To compare the AFL or movies is an unfair comparison. These are commercial entities which are not prepaid by the taxpayers.
    I have and always will take issue with having to pay to visit things I already pay for in my taxes.

  16. What on earth is John Bell talking about? Something that did not happen in 1983?
    Anangu didn’t have ownership of the land then.
    If the “Charlie” referred to is me, I wasn’t in the NT then, and have never had any role in the management of the park.
    Who the hell is Clyde?

  17. @ Charlie Carter (Posted November 7, 2019 at 10:09 am): Presumably referring to Clyde Holding, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (1983-87) in the Hawke Government.
    Holding was the architect of a proposed national Aboriginal land rights act but this was kyboshed after a strong campaign by the WA mining industry and Labor Premier, Brian Burke.
    Instead, a bit under a decade later, the High Court of Australia recognised Native Title as legal.

  18. @ Charlie, Alex and Simon. Yes. I was referring to Charlie Perkins and Clyde Cameron.
    I was in Canberra at the time. Being in the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation and Aboriginal Affairs and mixing with the mob on Capital Hill, and later ATSIC, and going to Alice with work, I could not help but get info and opinions and political views on the transfer by Hawkey.
    Clyde did a deal with Charlie whereby Charlie would get control of the NASF in the negotiations for the handover of the of Rock. Interesting times. Amazing times.

  19. @ Watchin: As far as I was aware it has always been for three days, at least as far back as when I was there in 99 and 2000. That was the argument then, that we were only there for one day, why do we have to pay for three?

  20. Wow, the prices are really jacked up.
    We don’t want you to climb, but we still want lots of money so up all the other prices.
    I understand the reason why not to climb but it’s just plain and simple greed upping the prices so much.
    I picture people sitting around saying we need to stop the climb but we don’t want to lose money, here is a win win, close it and up the prices.

  21. If the taxpayers can withdraw the funding, perhaps our tax will go down.
    While I understand the Anangu people’s wishes for people not to climb, I’d be interested to see how much of taxpayers dollars were, and still are being used to fund the area.
    No doubt it would be “commercial in confidence”.
    So when you ring your bank to see what your account fees are for and they say “commercial in confidence” what will you do?

  22. The increase is in line with CPI over the last 16 years, as there hasn’t been an increase since 2004 for park entrance tickets.
    If they had increased it in line with CPI once per year then it would be at the same price as the new ticket price coming in later this year, and the park would have actually made much more money along the way.

  23. Why bother going just to look at the Rock where the locals don’t want visitors, just their money. The Great Barrier Reef area is welcoming, friendly, affordable and exciting. Go there!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here