My Polish wife and I are having a lot of trouble tracing her family tree as we are in Australia
If you are doing this out of curiosity, it's not going to be fun at all.
If it's for a valid reason, just be prepared to face a similar situation like when you got married.
In theory it shouldn't be difficult to access some of that information.
If your wife was born in Poland and still speaks good Polish, that can be done in a matter of days.
Before you come over, you could call her local USC to find out.
If they don't seem helpful- call the National Archives (Archiwum Państwowego)
That should ease some of your worries before making the dreaded trip
to your wife's local USC office. Don't waste time with e-mails.
Call them and demand to speak to the right person.
I called the Polish consulate in Chicago , they said I have to contact the usc in the city i was born .
That should be the fastest way of getting your documents.
If you can't speak or write Polish it could be a problem.
Why don't you just send one of your relatives, living here, to the city you were born?
If you don't have any relatives, then applying for the bc in Washington DC sounds
like a wise choice but ,of course, it will take long.