Chinkapook is a rural locality in north-west Victoria 60 km north-west of Swan Hill and on the railway line to Manangatang.

The district was originally the Eureka pastoral run (1848), north of Lake Tyrell. In 1880s the run was subdivided for pastoral leaseholds, partly with the objectives of closer settlement and attendant farm fencing as a means of reducing the vermin population. A township was surveyed in 1903. The origin of the name Chinkapook is uncertain, various authorities stating that the name means foot, red pool or red ochre in its form as an Aboriginal word.

Soon after the extension of the Manangatang railway through Chinkapook in 1913 a boarding house, post office, general store, a school (1915-45) and a public hall (1917) were built. Water supply channels were scooped out, carrying water from the Ouyen channel supplied from a Grampians storage. Chinkapook township was planted with trees, and football, cricket and tennis clubs developed local recreation facilities. A Catholic church was opened in 1938 and a Uniting Methodist and Presbyterian church in 1959.

Around the town there were extensive wheat properties, periodically subjected to mice plagues. In 1917 mice ate notebooks kept by John Shaw Neilson when he was working in the district, depriving Australia of an unknown quantity of Neilson’s poems.

Chinkapook is still a wheat growing district, and there is a large silo and a wheat bunker at the railway siding. The hall is on the other side of the railway line.

The census populations have been:

census datepopulation

Further Reading

Aylis Scougall, Back to Chinkapook Easter, 1973, 1973

Jan Anderson and Aylis Scougall, Chinkapook School No. 3902, c1989