April 26, 2019

Museum Review - Polly Woodside

Megasilverfist, an Australia-based friend of mine, has graciously agreed to serve as the blog's correspondent in his corner of the world.1

Several months ago my work hosted a social function aboard Polly Woodside and I’ve finally gotten around to writing up a review.

Polly Woodside
Type: Museum Ship (with attached shore museum)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Rating: 4/5, An very interesting ship dragged down by a stupid gimmick
Price: $16 AUD (aprox 11 USD)


Polly Woodside is a museum ship in currently in Melbourne Australia on the Yarra river. Despite the name, Polly Woodside is actually an iron-hulled barque. The name Woodside is from the name of the original owner, not a reference to construction methods.

Launched in 1885 she was one of the last generation of commercial tall ships; this is enough to make her quite interesting without having to get into her WWII career as a coal hulk. She is also very well preserved with largely intact crew areas and ongoing renovations that will see her crow’s nest opened to the public in the near future. She is attached to a small dockside museum with fairly comprehensive information on Melbourne’s naval history. Her location is just outside of Melbourne’s CBD (downtown core), and is easily accessible by public transit as well as being adjacent to several other tourist attractions.

So why only 4/5? One word: Pirates. Despite being a honest merchant (and briefly military support vessel) from completely the wrong era much of her events and theming are based around the Hollywood version of the golden era of piracy. See the Jolly Roger hats and eyepatches on the tour guide’s costumes, (don’t) buy your own at the gift shop, and especially (don’t) show up on the first Sunday of every month for Pirate’s Day activities.

1 I'm always interested in guest reviews of various military-related museums I haven't made it to (yet). If you have one, send it to me at battleshipbean at gmail.

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