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Deception Bay Heritage Trail

About Deception Bay Heritage Trail

The Deception Bay Heritage Trail is about four kilometres long, and can be completed within a 90-minute walk.

This heritage location is marked by over 10 distinctive sculptural markers made of brushed and painted aluminium on structural aluminium tubing. These markers were created by artist partners and residents of Deception Bay, Paul D Johnson and Gail Mason who have works of sculpture in the public domain from Darwin to Melbourne.

The abstract forms of the markers were inspired by mangrove leaves in different growth and decay stages, mangrove root systems and foreshore rock formations which can be seen at low tide at the northern end of the Bay.

Deception Bay Heritage Tail markers

  1. Bathing Pool
  2. An Inquiring Mind
  3. Matchbox Mozzies
  4. Mrs Bancroft's Bath
  5. Tinned Meat
  6. Mistaken Identity
  7. Deception Bay Defence
  8. "Next, Please."
  9. Building Community
  10. Eking out a Living
  11. Tradition and Change
  12. Growing up in Deception Bay
  13. From Across the Seas
  14. Boondar
  15. Fishing Traditional Style
  16. Hidden Midden

Starting Point

The Heritage Trail begins at the intersection of Beach Road and Joseph Crescent, following Captain Cook Parade down to Esplanade 's Southern End.

If you are are seeking further information about the heritage of Deception Bay, the Deception Bay Library is nearby at Bayview Terrace and Endeavour Street adjacent to Captain Cook Parade.

Indigenous history of Deception Bay

The Deception Bay area has a rich history, from The Gubbi Gubbi – the traditional owners of the area to the establishment of a Moreton Bay penal colony.

Take a moment to look back in time and remember some of the stories and events in Deception Bay.

Indigenous Australians have long had a deep link with this country. Their ancient stories and history were conveyed in pictorial representations and by word of mouth, and in recent years confirmed by archaeologists through the dating of cultural heritage sites nearby.

10,000 years ago when the melting of the ice occurred it altered the landscape of the region. Prior to this event, there were no Bribie, Moreton or Stradbroke islands. Instead, the Brisbane River meandered across countryside that is now Moreton Bay and emptied into the ocean between what are now Moreton and Bribie islands.

The arrival of the British in Deception Bay occurred as the result of an “accident”.

In 1823, Thomas Pamphlett, John Thompson and Richard Parsons, ex-convicts who had served their sentences, and John Finnegan a convict who was still to do so, were ordered to travel from Sydney by boat to Illawarra, south of Sydney, to collect cedar wood.

Instead, Pamphlett, Finnegan and Parsons ended up on Moreton Island (Thompson died en-route) and were rescued by Gubbi Gubbi people who nursed them back to health. The men’s explanation for the ultimate result of their journey was that they were “washed northwards in a cyclone”.

The Gubbi Gubbi – the traditional owners of the area – showed the castaways their tribal land, including Deception Bay.

In September 1823, explorer John Oxley, who had been searching the coast for a suitable site for a new convict settlement, “rescued” Pamphlett and Finnegan. (Parsons was found further north about a year later). Pamphlett and Finnegan showed Oxley the area. As a consequence, the first penal colony in what was to become the State of Queensland was established in Redcliffe in 1824.

In 1825, the colony was moved to Brisbane and put under the charge of Captain Patrick Logan.

The push by Europeans for pastures and farmland began in earnest a few decades later. In the Deception Bay area, the British indulged in activities such as beekeeping, fishing and other rural pursuits.

For the Gubbi Gubbi and the Turrbal people south of the Pine River, this marked the end of days of living off nature on fresh seafood and fruits of the forests.

Content from Moreton Bay Regional Council, Deception Bay Heritage Trail Brochure, contribution by Dr Eve Fesl, Gubbi Gubbi Traditional Owner.

More resources on Moreton Bay Penal Colony

Share your trail adventures with us #MoretonDaily or @MoretonDaily

Contact Deception Bay Heritage Trail

Beach Road, Deception Bay QLD, Australia

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Last Updated: 2pm 17 Aug 2020

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