Chili or Chilli Beach Cape York Peninsula

Submitted: Friday, Jan 28, 2011 at 15:13
ThreadID: 83955 Views:2350 Replies:1 FollowUps:4
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G'day Folks

My Hema maps refer to Chilli Beach. The Moons in their Cape York - An Adventurer's Guide - have a bet each way and refer to Chili Beach and Chilli Beach. A recent edition of 4WD Action refers to Chilli Beach, and a Qld government website refers to Chili Beach.

I thought if I googled I might find who named it and why, or what after, and that that would then sort out the spelling. No luck so far, so what better than turning to the exploroz forum search engine?

Best I can do is suggest that Bligh had a chilli con carne meal when he arrived at the Restoration Is cafe, but then spelled it incorrectly when he wrote up his log.

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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Friday, Jan 28, 2011 at 17:38

Friday, Jan 28, 2011 at 17:38
Chili Beach Link - National Park

Looks like most spell it Chilli, but should be Chili

Your right - it sems no one has put that down on the net as to how it was named

I did hear that there were Chinese gardens down that way

Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 443348

Follow Up By: Member - John G- Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:44

Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:44
G'day Tony

As you can see you were the only respondent to my exploroz search engine query. With all the correspondence during any year on Cape York tripping I thought someone somewhere might have had an answer.

I got onto the Qld Department of Environment and Resource Management site, and neither Chili Beach (nor Chilli Beach), nor Portland Roads get a mention on their Place Names search facility. Strange, because Portland Roads at least is a small settlement, and was probably named during WW2.Lockhart River does get a hit on the search facility, and it provides the derivation of the place name, so I've got the right site, but no prize.

I've fired off a question to their 'contact us' but am not optimistic about a reply - reasonably, the department will be otherwise occupied at this time.

FollowupID: 715591

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:50

Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:50
Yes quite unusual - I thought it would be easier to find out! But obviously not.

I used to work up there maintaining the roads and used Chili Beach as a base, I seem to remember asking the ranger why it was called Chili Beach and the thought dropped in that it had something to do with the Chinese Gardens.

I am talking about 9 years ago though :-) So need to find an original source, you have me interested now :-)

Cjheers Tony
FollowupID: 715594

Follow Up By: Member - John G- Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 13:56

Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 13:56
I should get a life!

I think that the spelling is a red (pun intended) herring. Seems that 'chili', 'chilli', and 'chile', are all accepted spellings for the hot little pepper, so I have been getting my pedantic knickers in a knot for nothing on that score.

Wikepedia says 17000 Chinese on the Qld goldfields in the late 1800s. Some of them must have been at the Batavia goldfields, and some must have resorted to supplying the fields with market garden produce. So your Chinese gardens memory may be on the money.

FollowupID: 715608

Follow Up By: Member - John G- Friday, Feb 04, 2011 at 09:32

Friday, Feb 04, 2011 at 09:32
G'day Tony

I'm still beavering away on this. I've got about five emails in the system to various place name, govt, historical and geographical, and tourist websites - all Qld based so they are likely to have other things on thier minds at the moment.

Fired an email off yesterday to a Felicity Jack, great great granddaughter of Robert Logan Jack, a geologist who named Lockhart River. According to the web she had written a book on her GGGF.

Re the idea of Chinese market gardens and the Batavia Goldfields. I've tried Chinese-in-Australia type websites but there's not much there. I also note that the Batavia field only had a peak period of about two years.

I asked the Qld Dept of Environment and Resources for the correct spelling, the derivation of the name, and what might be the reason that it doesn't appear on their place name register. The response was that it's Chili Beach, but no response to the other questions.

All in all, time to move on and await responses. Next question is "what is the meaning of life?" - might get more responses to that.

FollowupID: 716216

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