Deception Bay, contrary to popular myth, earned its name due to a mix-up by its discoverer, Lieutenant John Oxley. Initially Oxley had assumed the shallow bay was a river, upon standing corrected (much to his surprise) he named the area Deception Bay.
Over the years, the area has gone from being used predominantly as farming land, to housing a WWII army camp, to becoming a residential hub and peaceful holiday destination for those looking to avoid the crowds.
Though Deception Bay is regarded as primarily a residential area, with suburbia occupying most of the suburb, unbeknownst to many, it's also a great place to bring furry four legged best friends for water play at the dog beach, or to enjoy serene waterside & parkland strolls and a spot of dog-friendly bayside dining.
The 1.5km Cottonwood Walk is part of the 4km Deception Bay Heritage Trail which takes you all along the esplanade and through parklands over boardwalks and shared paths from the Deception Bay Historic Bathing Pool and dog beach in the north, just past Boama Park and the wetlands reserve in the south.
A number of BBQ and picnic facilities are dotted along the route, as well as a few viewing platforms, parks, playgrounds, dog parks and even a simple mountain bike course with a couple of little jumps great for young ones.
Dolphins live in the bay, though sightings are rare, you might get lucky so be sure to bring your camera/smart phone.
The Heritage Trail explores the rich cultural heritage of the area.
During low tide, keen-eyed visitors to the trail might be able to spot the Bancroft Baths, carved into the sandstone and hidden in the mudflats. In the 19th century, it was a widely held belief that the fresh sea air and water were a way of healing the illnesses caused by the increasingly industrialised world, and it’s an idea that still seems to ring true today. Deception Bay holds the only known baths of these kind in the state.
Beyond the mudflats, there are many sites of historical and cultural significance along the walk, including the site of the World War II army camp created to retrain Australian soldiers to fight in the Pacific region after Japan entered the war.
Though we often focus only on the big moments in history, such as wars, the smaller moments can have just as stunning an impact. The Heritage Walk is a great way to learn about the events, large and small, that shaped this community.
Deception Bay is a 40 minute drive from Brisbane, travelling along Gympie Road (which becomes the Bruce Highway). There is accommodation, public transport, a shopping centre and dining options available for those wanting to take a weekend to explore all the bay has to offer.