Deception Bay is located 32 km north of Brisbane in the south-eastern corner of the bay of the same name. The bay's shallow flats surprised New South Wales Surveyor-General, John Oxley, who initially thought the bay was a river and so named it as a consequence.
Originally held as pastoral runs, the Deception Bay area was opened to selection in 1861, although accessibility and the quality of the soil resulted in slow take-up. The generally acknowledged European pioneer of Deception Bay is Dr Joseph Bancroft who moved there in 1881 from his house, Kelvin Grove. Bancroft was both a competent medical doctor and a botanical researcher. His landholding near the Burpengary Creek, ultimately comprising 3780 acres, was used for a pemmican meatworks (1891) and experimental plots for sugar cane, rye barley and rust resistant wheat. His son, Dr Thomas Bancroft (1860-1933) did considerable work on parasitology at Deception Bay. Thomas' daughter, Mabel Josephine 'Jo' Mackerras was born in Deception Bay and became a noted research scientist and entomologist. The family's importance is acknowledged by a memorial and by Bancroft Terrace, located near the site of the former experimental farm where it overlooked the beach and a modern fisheries research institute.
Deception Bay began as a seaside village overlooking shallow mud flats, with a couple of houses to let, sea baths built by the Bancrofts, a dressing shed to cater for visitors. The baths are listed on the Queensland heritage register. By the late 1950s its population began to grow, accessibility increased by the rise of private motor transport and the nearby Bruce Highway. By the 1980s it had grown to become a substantial suburb in the Caboolture Shire, the Deception Bay North primary school having opened in 1979. It has State and Catholic primary schools (1892, 1979), a high school (1992) and a sub-regional shopping centre (1980), with three discount department stores and 52 specialty shops. Deception Bay extends inland to the Bruce Highway, providing extensive acreages for residential growth. At the limit of that growth there are the Freshwater National Park, the Shaftesbury centre for disadvantaged youth and the Caboolture cemetery. In 1995 a new State primary school, Moreton Downs, was opened to the south, near North Lakes.
Deception Bay's census populations have been: