"ULURU, definitely not" Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) by Assenczo

Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) Travel Guide: 436 reviews and 1,214 photos

Before and After

Before coming to Australia I was quite excited to find out that the Rock has been renamed Uluru as the aboriginals used to call it. How nice – everything has fallen into place. Once on the spot though, it is more than obvious that the name is deprived of its contents. The aboriginals are nowhere to be seen; the hotel resort employs some of them in more marginal positions, such as housemaids or construction workers. The front desk people are exclusively white. Even the bell boys and the room service attendants are white, fresh from the low-productivity farms of the outback. For those who might consider the poor education of the natives and their inability to manage the money-related parts of the business as probable cause of their separation from the front desk it is difficult to explain why they cannot be entrusted with caring luggage to a hotel room or driving a resort bus to and from the airport.

The culture of marketing

As if to further this point of bigotry and bias, the native artists have been graciously given the chance to make some money on top of their welfare cheques with native artistry. Of course dealing with money, marketing and sales is way beyond them. That’s why the cultural center has bared them from setting up shop there and delegated this role to a white college girl. The famous center from the brochures is based on the story of the aboriginals and their connection to the Rock. It is well designed around the aboriginal story and livelihood with many signs prompting the visitor to keep quiet for the sake of respect to this sacred place (by the way this is probably the only place where the trespasser is not threatened with fines or prosecution). What a disappointment it is when suddenly at the end of the “tunnel” the unsuspecting tourist comes face to face with a white freckled girl who sells their art. Now is the time to believe that Ayer’s Rock is Uluru and not vice versa!?

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Most original place on the 6th continent and beyond
  • Cons:In the grip of a tourist-trap set up
  • In a nutshell:Australian hallmark
  • Last visit to Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock): Aug 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 12, 2007
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