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Why is Uluru-Ayers Rock so important to Australia's Aboriginal people?

Uluru gleaming in the sunlight. Credit: PA

Tourists have flocked to Uluru for decades to climb up the rock and enjoy its majesty but that is coming to an end on Friday.

There has been human activity at the site in Australia's Northern Territory for 10,000 years, according to archaeologists, who believe the rock formed 60million years ago underwater.

Originally, the land and rock was owned by the local Anangu people, who date back more than 60,000 years, until 1873 when explorer William Gosse located the site and named it after Chief Secretary of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited in the site in 2014. Credit: PA

Since that date, the rock in Kata Tjuta National Park, has jointly been named Ayers Rock and Uluru.

Owing to its setting in the National Park, Uluru possesses protective status.

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The word Uluru translates as Great Pebble.

The Anangu people put great cultural significance on the rock, which changes colour throughout the day, most noticeably when it glows red during sunrise and sunset.

Tours are given by the Anangu people, where visitors are told Aboriginal Dreamtime stories about the site. These explain how the Aboriginals created their existence at Uluru.

Climbing Uluru will be banned from Friday. Credit: PA

The Anangu people have pressed for years for climbing to stop, planting a sign at the bottom, which read: “This is our home. Please don’t climb.”

The date of the climbing route's closure is significant, as October 26 is 34 years since the site was handed by the Australian government to the Anangu.

Due to its age and the amount of time the Anangu have lived there, Uluru is a sacred site and it is seen as a resting place for ancient spirits, giving it religious stature.

Surviving in such barren land is not easy for either human or rock but Uluru has thrived thanks to its homogeneity.

The rock is home to a variety of wildlife, with 21 native mammals currently living on Uluru, while others have been introduced to the area, who will now all be able to enjoy their habitat without the incursion of tourists.