Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is in the red, hot centre of Australia and has been a World Heritage listed site since 1987 for its natural beauty and spectacular geological rock formation.

It’s therefore unsurprising that people want to take a piece of this natural beauty home with them. There are many ways you can do this, whether it be through a stubby holder or through a sweet painting.

However, some people opt for a more, er, interesting method.

They take a piece of Uluru home with them. That’s right. Some tourists are opting to take rocks, pebbles, sand and twigs from Uluru.

Sammy Wilson, a traditional owner of Aboriginal land, has said that the curse is unsurprising. He explains in a video:

“Many people come to this place [Uluru] and often, they think it’s just a place. A site in the landscape.

“What they don’t realise is that it’s full of Tjukurpa, our ancient traditional law.”

People are realising that there are consequences when they take unsolicited souvenirs from Uluru.

Parks Australia have said that they’re becoming overwhelmed with the number of letters and packages they receive from people around the world experiencing bad luck.

“The practice of taking the rocks in the first place must stop. We can’t actually do anything with the returned materials,” a spokeswoman from Parks Australia said.

An Australian author, Tim the Yowie Man, has recognised this phenomenon in his new book, Haunted: Mysterious Australia.

“Hundreds of visitors from all over the world are returning their illegal caches of rock and sand … often after experiencing bad luck attributed to their souvenirs – the curse of Uluru,” the book has said.

Under Anangu law governing life and land, there are consequences for disrespecting the land. This has been confirmed by Parks Australia.

There are also fines in place. Tourists who are caught trying to take rocks or sand from the park can expect to receive a fine of up to $8500.

Have you ever visited Uluru?


This article was written in partnership with Over60.