Polly Woodside was launched in 1885 in Belfast, Ireland. The owner was William Woodside, a Belfast ship owner, the ship was named after his wife who was affectionately known as ” Polly”.
Between 1885 and 1904 the ship made 17 trips to several destinations all over the world, including South Africa the US, and Australia, and rounded the Cape Horn 16 times, which was a feat in its self .
She was sold to a New Zealand firm in 1904 and renamed Rona and sailed mainly between Australia and New Zealand. Eventually moved to Melbourne to be used as a coal lighter.
In 1943 the Rona was temporarily requisitioned by the Royal Australian Navy and towed to New Guinea waters for use as a refueling barge for naval ships.
The ship was returned to Melbourne after the Second World War, and for the next 20 years was used for supplying coal to other ships.
The ship, now in dry dock in Melbourne, lovingly restored and open to the public as a museum