Park officials at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park have reported a surge of visitors climbing Uluru in Australia’s Red Centre, before a ban comes into force on Saturday (October 26).

Thousands of visitors have trekked up Uluru – formerly known as Ayers Rock – but it is a sacred site for the local indigenous custodians, the Anangu people, who have long asked tourists not to go up.

Around 300,000 people visit Uluru annually and only 16% of visitors undertook the climb in 2017, when the forthcoming ban was announced.

Now pictures of crowds on the rock have sparked anger and accusations of a lack of respect by the climbers, say media reports.

To make the ascent, visitors have to walk past signs at the base of Uluru saying ‘please don’t climb’ in several languages.

In the 1990s, 75% of visitors tackled the climb, holding on to a metal chain fixed to 12 iron postings to help them.

The date of October 26 is significant to Anangu as it was on October 26, 1985, when Uluru was handed back to them.

MoreVisitors to be banned from climbing Uluru from October 2019