The Polly Woodside is a piece of Melbourne’s maritime history. I first saw it when I was at Primary School. It seemed that every kid went there for a school excursion. It’s always held a soft spot for me.
It was built in Belfast, Ireland in 1885, named after the original owner’s wife and used for many sailing routes before coming to Melbourne to be used as a coal lighter. It was also used in World War 2 in New Guinea waters for use as a refueling barge for naval ships.
These days the area where it is docked is now part of South Wharf, an area that was in the disused western end of Melbourne. It sits outside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre so is seen by nearly everyone that goes there so it has become a very popular attraction.