Shocked backpackers see their car windows smashed after ‘accidentally’ climbed a sacred mountain where indigenous communities ask people not to go
- A backpacker has urged other travelers to heed Mount Warning’s climbing ban
- The trio headed to Wollumbin National Park on Saturday, in the northern rivers of NSWW
- They returned to their car and found the rear and passenger windows smashed
- Indigenous holy site is closed to the public, visitors are asked not to come to the top
- After sharing their experience online, many criticized them for ignoring the rules
Backpackers who climbed a mountain sacred to Aborigines and closed to the public returned to find their ute windows smashed.
A Scottish man warned travelers in a Facebook group after he and two friends returned Saturday from a trek through Wollumbin National Park, in the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
Photos show the entire blade shattered, cracks in the windshield and shards of glass scattered across the passenger and driver seats.
The man said they had driven to the site to climb Wollumbin, also known as Mount Warning, which will be closed to the public until later this year due to safety and management concerns.
Backpackers have warned others after their vehicle (pictured) was vandalized when they violated regulations banning visitors from climbing a sacred mountain in northern NSW
The Scottish man shared photos of the damage, with the vehicle’s rear and passenger side windows completely shattered and glass scattered across the front seats.
“A warning to anyone thinking of climbing Mt Warning,” the man wrote.
“I know it’s closed because of the Covid, but we decided to go to the top for first light anyway.
“When I came back from a beautiful sunrise, someone thought it justified to smash my car windows.”
The mountain is of spiritual significance to the Bundjalung people who ask visitors not to climb to the summit track, while the government and the Aboriginal community are discussing the future of the national park.
Although the trio knew the park was closed, the man said they didn’t know it was for cultural reasons.
“After some research online, we concluded that there is an ongoing dispute between landowners, indigenous people and local councils about whether it should be closed permanently or not,” he continued.
“Again, unfortunately we didn’t know this at the time and thought it was only closed because of Covid.”
The man said it was still “completely out of order” and “cowardly” that their vehicle was damaged, and that he would have preferred the vandals confront or educate them.
The man shared a photo of him and one of his friends taking pictures of the sunrise from the top of the mountain
“If you’re thinking about climbing Mt Warning or visiting other closed national parks, think twice!” he advised.
Located 12 km southwest of Murwillumbah, the Mt Warning summit trail is a 8.8 km return hike through difficult terrain.
Wollumbin, meaning ‘cloudcatcher’ in some indigenous dialects, was declared an Aboriginal place in 2015 due to its cultural significance as a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education for Bundjalung people.
According to the Bundjalung law, only certain people are allowed to climb the top and visitors are asked not to use the track out of respect for their culture.
Wollumbin, also known as Mount Warning (pictured), is a sacred place for the Bundjalung people and was a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education