A French exotic dancer has caused outrage in Australia by performing a strip show on one of the country’s most famous tourist attractions, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock.
Alizee Sery put on the show for a friend with a video camera. The video – which was posted on YouTube – shows her climbing the red sandstone monolith in conventional dress and then stripping at the top to a white bikini, white high-heeled boots and a bushman’s hat.
The 1,142ft high rock is sacred to Australia’s Aborigines, who have asked tourists to respect its significance and not even to climb it. What Miss Sery had done, said one, was the equivalent of someone defecating on the steps of the Vatican.
Ms Sery insisted that she hadn’t meant to offend anyone – it was more of a tribute to the greatness of the rock. “What we need to remember is that traditionally, the Aboriginal people were living naked. So stripping down was a return to what it was like. After such a hard climb, when you reach the top, the view and the magic of the place gives you an amazing feeling of peace and freedom. You want to sing, dance –and strip.”
This explanation didn’t cut much ice with the Central Land Council, which represents the traditional owners of Uluru. The Director, David Ross, said Ms Sery should be deported.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers a range of luxury hotels in Sydney, Melbourne and many other parts of Australia.
I suppose we’ve all been guilty of lifting some little thing from our hotel room – a pen, a pair of slippers, the copy of Vogue stamped ‘do not remove’ …
But according to the Australian Hotel Association (AHA), millions of dollars are lost in the industry every year because of theft. Little items like the above are overlooked, but it seems that some guests are tempted to take everything that is, or isn’t, nailed down.
In Australia, that’s included a toilet flushing mechanism, a TV set with base, and a giant metal statue of a kangaroo.
They’re apparently known in the business as ‘five-fingered discounts’. Men and women are equally guilty, although obviously their needs differ. Women are more likely to pouch designer toiletries and towels. Men are tempted by bottle openers, shoe shine kits, glasses and items from the mini bar.
Inappropriate souvenir-taking can mean hefty fines and even jail. “Major international hotels within Australia do not turn a blind eye to anything that is unlawfully taken from hotel rooms,” says the AHA. “Most, if not all, have a zero tolerance policy on this issue.”
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers the best in luxury hotels in Australia – so chic you’ll wish you could take the entire room back with you.
A new viewing platform will give tourists a spectacular view of Uluru, the sacred monolith in Australia also known as Ayer’s Rock.
It’s hoped that the platform, unveiled at a dawn ceremony last week, will discourage tourists from climbing the rock. Apart from the danger of the steep, slippery ascent and the damage caused by waste and erosion, the site is considered a spiritual place for Aborigines.
The new viewing area, which is cut into sand dunes about two miles from the rock, includes seven miles of roads, a mile of walking tracks and a number of shaded areas. It’s the biggest investment in the infrastructure of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park for almost 15 years, costing $A 21 million (£12million / $19 million).
The traditional owners worked closely with the government to develop the new viewing area, and chose the location so as not to interfere with their beliefs. The Australian Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, said the panoramic views were fantastic throughout the day, but particularly spectacular at sunrise.
More than 300,000 tourists visit Uluru, one of Australia’s most popular landmarks, every year, and approximately 38 per cent climb the rock against the wishes of the owners.
Earlier this year, the Australian government released a draft management plan for the park which included the proposal to ban tourists from climbing Uluru.
by Andy Moreton
Luxique offers a range of luxury hotels in Australia.