Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock


City of Albany

Place Number



Middleton Beach Rd Albany

Location Details

Adjacent 298 Middleton Road within road reserve

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 27 Oct 2020

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Classified by the National Trust Classified {Lscpe} 11 Jun 1973
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category B
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Exceptional

Statement of Significance

Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: It is one of a group of significant geographic elements that form the local Aboriginal creation story and is included in the Department of Indigenous Affairs (now Department Planning Lands Heritage) sites register as a place of mythological significance, together with its tail (Yakknint) on Aberdeen Street, Michaelmas and Breaksea Islands, Kardarup/Mt Melville, Corndarup/Mt Clarence, Irrerup/Mt Adelaide, Burmup/Bluff Rock, Mairitch/Oyster Harbour, and the King and the Kalgan Rivers. It was nominated by the Albany Aboriginal Corporation as part of a list of seven significant heritage places endorsed by the local Aboriginal people and which they call “Yacka”, meaning wild dog tamed. It is one of the most recognisable and iconic landmarks in Albany playing an enduring and major role in tourist branding and one of the most photographed elements in the Albany. It is highly valued by the local community and owing to its popularity and endearing nature has survived several past attempts for its removal.

Physical Description

Some of the notable features of this place include: • Situated at the bend of Middleton Rd • Large granite rock in the shape of a dog’s head • At another site is the ‘tail’ of the dog Some obvious modifications include: • White reflector blocks painted on rock appear as a collar, but help vision on the bend of Middleton Rd at night


Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock is so named owing to its strong likeness to a bullmastiff dog’s head sniffing in the breeze and a number of stories and myths have survived about the rock’s origin. Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock was nominated by the Albany Aboriginal Corporation as part of a list of seven significant heritage places endorsed by the Menang Noongar community to be included in the City of Albany Municipal Heritage Inventory in 2000. Local Aboriginal people call Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock “Yacka”, meaning wild dog tamed. A wild dog (such as a dingo) is called a twert. Near the Roman Catholic Church, St Joseph’s rises a sharp rock which was known as “Yakknint” – dog’s tail. It is very sacred under tribal law and part of the creation story and the path that mythical beings took while traveling across the landscape. The central elements of this story begin on Michaelmas and Breaksea Islands and travel to the central part of Mt Melville, and take in Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock and its tail, Oyster Harbour, and the King and the Kalgan Rivers. Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock also become an important and endearing landmark to the British settlers to Albany and was an early tourist icon and popular subject from the earliest days of photography. Although a much-valued landmark and Albany icon now for the majority of residents, the rock despite its popularity has periodically caused consternation in the local community because of safety, traffic and hazard issues, and its future retention in-situ threatened by numerous proposals for removal especially with the growth of the private motor car and increased traffic and road and residential development. In the 1920s it was proposed that the rock should be blasted out because it was a traffic hazard and to allow future road widening, attracting articles in the local newspapers entitled “The Dog Rock Controversy”. However, after heated debate and agitation, the community support for the rock to be left was overwhelming. In the 1930s it was again the subject of local criticism because children were attracted to playing on the rock and at risk from the passing traffic. In the 1960s a suggestion was made to transfer Yakkan Toort/Dog Rock to the roundabout junction at Albany Highway, Chester Pass Rd and Denmark Rd, to become a more central tourist attraction. Radio Station 6VA manager Ted Furlong even proffered the idea that the rock could be relocated by being cut into slices and then reassembled at the new site.


Integrity: High Authenticity: High




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Robert Reynolds representing Albany Aboriginal Corporation
L Johnson; "Town of Albany Heritage Survey". 1994
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999

Place Type

Geological monument


Epoch General Specific
Present Use OTHER Other
Original Use OTHER Other

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Other STONE Granite

Historic Themes

General Specific
OTHER Other Sub-Theme

Creation Date

21 Aug 1995

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

11 Mar 2022


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.