Fish Lane started life as Soda Lane, a critical artery servicing the working docks of South Brisbane. 

As Brisbane grew South Brisbane evolved into a bustling commercial hub servicing the young colony via the local fleet – for 150 years a rough and tumble working class dockside suburb.

World Expo 88 forever changed South Brisbane and the subsequent evolution of the South Bank Parklands and adjacent Cultural Precinct bought investment and attention. Fish Lane however languished in the shadows – neglected and forgotten. 

In 2006 Brisbane City Council commissioned the first Master Plan for Fish Lane, identifying it’s potential as a key connector linking the CBD and Cultural Precinct to South Brisbane and West End. Little progress was made however until Aria Property Group developed ‘Austin’ Apartments at the head of Fish Lane in 2014.

Together ‘Austin’ Apartments and the refurbishment of the adjacent block brought a new focus on retail and the public realm incorporating lighting, signage landscaping and public art. Fish Lane again sprang to life.

Today Fish Lane is an exemplar inner city urban renewal precinct – bustling again with bars, restaurants, cafes, art, galleries, music and events.

  • 1885 – Soda Water Lane
  • 1890s – Name disappears from record
  • 1906 – Re-listed as Fish Lane
  • 1988 – World Expo 88
  • 2014 – Aria develops ‘Austin’
  • Today – Fish Lane Arts Precinct
Soda Water Lane 1885


Excerpt from Queensland Post Office Directory, 1885 (showing the occupants of Soda Water Lane).

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Soda Water Lane 1888


Brisbane Map in Sydney Illustrated News. Soda Water Lane is evident running off Stanley (now Grey) St.

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

1890 Melbourne & Stanley Streets


Scene of South Brisbane during 1890 flood. View from intersection of Melbourne and Stanley (now Grey) St.

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 91396

World Expo 88


Monorail at World Expo 88 in South Bank, QLD

Queensland State Archives Image ID 1971

Fish Lane 2012


Fish Lane pre development by Aria Property Group, view from Grey St.

Aria Property Group

Fish Lane Today


Fish Lane today, bustling with bars, restaurants, art and events.

Photography by Toby Scott

Fish Lane Today


Fish Lane during Fish Lane Festival.

Aria Property Group

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