Alfred Wernam CanningPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The monument commemorates Alfred W. Canning, the surveyor of the Canning Stock Route who died in 1936.

A. W. Canning is most widely known for his work in establishing the Canning Stock Route. His work in surveying the 1150 mile line of the No 1 rabbit proof fence is less well known and very little has been written about it. About the turn of the century, rabbits from the east were beginning to invade Western Australia and Canning was instructed to survey a route for a rabbit-proof fence. Construction of the fence, known as the No. 1 Rabbit Proof Fence, was completed in 1907.  Even though 'the fence' was technically a more challenging project, Canning is best known for surveying the Canning Stock Route in 1906-07.

In 1906, the Western Australian Government appointed surveyor Alfred Canning to survey an overland stock route from Halls Creek in the Kimberley to the rail head at Wiluna to bring cattle to growing markets in the south west of the State. The goldrush and expansion of the colony had created a demand for meat that could not be met from the south. Cattle from Kimberley pastoral regions were being transported south via an arduous sea journey. This was followed by a long trek inland to the goldfields by which time the cattle had lost considerable condition and market appeal. After establishing the feasibility of an inland stock route, Canning was then instructed to equip 51 watering points along the route. This task was completed in 1910 and the droving of cattle southward began.


Address:Canning Stock Route, Well 26, Lake Disappointment
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -22.916055
Long: 123.505666
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State
Monument Manufacturer:Cooper Engraving (Plaque)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 15th July, 1983
Front Inscription

Alfred Wernam Canning
1861 - 1936

Explorer and Surveyor

This 900 mile stock route which now bears his name, was surveyed by Alfred W. Canning In 1906 - 7 and the 51 Wells between Halls Creek and Wiluna constructed in 1908 - 10 under his outstanding leadership.

Conceived to overland Kimberley cattle direct to Eastern Goldfields markets thereby avoiding shipping restrictions associated with tick (Boophilus Microplus).  It was last used in 1958.

This plaque was unveiled 15th.July 1983.

The Royal W.A. Historical Society Inc.

Back Inscription
This camel water tank, typical of those carried by early explorers and prospectors, was provided by Midland Sheet Metal Works Pty. Ltd.
Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au