Summer in the city 3: Deception Bay
Deception Bay is one of my favourite Aussie place names. It's up there with Cape Tribulation, Dead Horse Gap and Anxious Bay. I'd assumed it was one of Captain Cook's, reflecting his sometimes-perilous voyage up Australia's east coast. But no; it was English explorer and surveyor John Oxley who, mistaking the wide Pine River to the south for the Brisbane, named it the Deception River on realising his error. It is assumed that the Bay was named after the River.
Just over 30 kilometres north of Brisbane – turn off the Bruce Highway on to Boundary Road – Deception Bay township is a northern 'suburb' in the Moreton Bay Region. It lies south of Bribe Island and north of the Redcliffe peninsula. Ignore Deception Bay Road's same-old brash ribbon development and turn off left on to Bailey Road (it's easy to miss the 'Deception Bay' sign which is not big enough and on the far side of the junction – rather apposite, I thought). Wend your way up and turn right for the water. You'll hit the Heritage Trail which runs right around the Bay.
The Aussies may not be good at road signs but they do trails well. The railings, information board 'sculptures', pavement art, wooden marker bollards and landscaping are high-quality and pleasing on the eye. We intend to take our bikes back and do the Bay. On this occasion, we just idled about at the northern end, spotting waders such as Pied Oystercatchers and Bar-tailed Godwits and puzzling over rocks.
An interesting phenomenon on the beach here are patterns in the sandstone rock that is uncovered at low tide. One suggestion is that the ebb and flow of the tide wear away this soft rock into such shapes, but that doesn't seem a very plausible explanation to me. Some form long thin ridges; some are circular depressions; yet other rocks are pitted with much smaller holes.
The information panel on the 'pictures in the rocks' hints at mysterious unnatural artworks and stories. Whatever their origins, they are rather curious and made great photographic subjects.
The rectangle in the top left of the shot above was cut out of the rock to create a bathing pool at a time when health benefits were believed to derive from bathing in salt water. 'Mrs Bancroft's bath' was made for her by husband Joseph, a prominent citizen of first Brisbane and then Deception Bay in the second half of the 19th century. Dr Bancroft, whose occupations included ship's surgeon, inventor, GP and canned meat manufacturer, suggested the link between mosquitoes and parasitic disease prevalent in the new colonies and did much to alleviate the suffering of early settlers.
Deception Bay's intertidal sand flats provided just as much inspiration as Nudgee Beach had done.
We drove round the Bay, edging the waterfront whenever the road allowed, heading for Scarborough at the top of the Redcliffe peninsula.
Our old friends the Glass House Mountains popped up again.
To the south, and halfway down the peninsula, Redcliffe is quite smart had some interesting 'things' beside the seaside.
Thence to Woody Point. One of our first forays up the Queensland coast in January 2010 brought us here, and its initial charms are still in evidence. The wind almost blew us off the pier (Brisbane CBD in the background, below), and a storm passing to the west was nurturing dramatic sunset potential.
Unfortunately, the chilled glass of white above wasn't mine, since I was driving, which meant I also missed most of a spectacular sunset. My friend stepped into the breech as photographer.
The new southbound bridge across Bramble Bay is impressive, but I was perturbed to find that the road lights have been pelican proofed. Delightful on our first visit were several of these huge birds perched like sentinels above the old bridge, now just for northbound drivers. Infrastructure providers can be such killjoys: they stop you looking over the sides of bridges, too, these days. (Elves and safety.) My friend did, however, spot one rogue pelican who had managed to take up position. Good on him!
This mini-trip was spur-of-the-moment. We didn't leave till 2.30 and were back in time for supper. How pleasant pootling about on Moreton Bay can be. And so close to home.