Polly Woodside is one of Melbourne’s many tourist attractions. This three-masted iron-hulled barque was built in Belfast, Ireland, and has been preserved in the South Wharf precinct. It was originally launched in 1885, and operated as a cargo vessel carrying coal, nitrate and wheat between British ports, and ports in South America, while navigating around Cape Horn. Her operating crew was around 20. After 1904, she was sold and renamed Rona, operating between New Zealand and Australia carrying timber, salt and coal.
She remained in service, though constantly diminishing, till 1968 when she was consigned to being a museum ship. In March 2007, she was added to the Victorian Heritage Register. In 2006, the dry docks at where she remains moored underwent a significant overhaul and refurbishment. The gates have been reopened since 2010 for the public to come and visit her and rediscover what life on the high seas was like in an era begone.