Go for gold in Sofala
Sofala was one of the Bathurst area's most successful goldmining towns. Gold was still Sofala's primary industry right up to the 1940s. Today, you can still fossick for gold dust in the Turon River.
Just 46 km from Bathurst, Sofala is reportedly Australia's oldest surviving gold-rush town. Set in an idyllic Country NSW location beside the pretty Turon River, Sofala's setting includes a rugged mountain backdrop that has attracted artists over the years. In 1947, Russell Drysdale captured the main street's timber buildings and hot, dusty emptiness in his famous work, Sofala.
Take a historical walking tour through town and explore the Upper Turon for reminders of the gold rush, including diggings, gravestones, buildings and a Chinese miner settlement. You can even sleep overnight in Old Sofala Gaol. The Turon Technology Museum is worth a visit to see industrial revolution machines. For handmade sweets, meat pies and a dose of history, visit the Old Sofala Post Office, which has been standing since 1879.
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This historic Royal Hotel in Hill End.
Sofala town and countryside. Image Hamilton Lund