Historic Polly Woodside
Boarding this ship is a fantastic family day out, learning the maritime history and exploring Polly Woodside!
Harboured and restored superbly, Polly Woodside is a great piece of history to explore and discover. Built in Belfast and launched in 1885, the three-masted, iron-hulled ship is now a major tourist attraction nearby to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
History of The Polly Woodside
Named after the owner’s wife, Mrs Marian (‘Polly’) Woodside, the ship operated as a cargo vessel, sailing around the world between 1885 and 1903. Usually with a crew of less than 20.
Polly was sold in 1904 to a New Zealander who re-named her ‘Rona’, she then worked mainly between New Zealand and Australia carrying a mixture of cargo. In 1911 Rona changed owners again before eventually running aground in 1921. The damage was relatively minor, though stress fractures were visible when she was dry-docked until 1974.
The Restoration of Polly Woodside
Restoration has been a massive undertaking and is a constant ongoing task, managed by the National Trust.
Definitely, include the Polly Woodside when visiting Melbourne, experiencing the maritime history of this lovely old ship.
A museum and exhibition building alongside the dock is the first ‘port of call’ on entering the area. Beware, you will have to test your sea legs at the entrance! Kids will love it.
The entry price is reasonable and kids can be entertained onboard the ship, cleaning the decks and hauling goods.
Children’s Birthday parties, Pirate Sundays, live theatre and school excursions are all available by booking online.
WEBSITE: Polly Woodside
Location: 21 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf
Paid Parking is available under the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings or on side streets. Street parking is generally free on Sundays, read signs carefully to make sure. The Old Melbourne Gaol is another good family attraction in Melbourne.