Sofala

On the banks of the gorgeous Turon River, Sofala is a delightful village in the beautiful Bathurst region with a rich and intriguing colonial goldmining heritage. Amble along the pretty streets and you’ll see buildings from the 19th century gold rush, including the Royal Hotel, a classic wooden pub.

The streetscape features in famous Australian artist Russell Drysdale’s Sofala, described by the Art Gallery of NSW as one of his finest paintings and ‘an expression of the quintessential qualities of an inland Australian country town’. The painting won the prestigious Wynne Prize in 1947.

Sofala Historical Village - Bathurst Area

Gold fever struck Australia in the early 1850s when gold in payable amounts was discovered in the Bathurst region of NSW. Sofala was one of the first areas to experience the gold rush, with a tent city mushrooming along the riverbanks after alluvial gold was discovered in 1851.

You can still try your luck panning for gold or fishing along the river near Sofala, which is less than four hours’ drive northwest of Sydney and a short drive north of Bathurst. Tours of the goldfields around Sofala depart from Bathurst, including Detour Adventures and Simmo’s Offroad Tours.

Turon River, Turon National Park - Bathurst

You’ll find charming places to stay in and around Sofala, including a colonial cottage that was built in the 1870s and Chesleigh Homestead, where you can go horseriding on trails and pan for gold in creeks. Take a historical walking tour through Sofala and explore the Upper Turon for reminders of the gold rush, including diggings, gravestones, buildings and a Chinese miner settlement.

Stop for a refreshment at the cafe in the Old Sofala Gaol. The Turon Technology Museum, just outside town, is intriguing with its steam engines. The annual Sofala and District Agriculture and Horticulture Show is a fun family event and just south of Sofala is the village of Wattle Flat, home of the annual Wattle Flat Bronze Thong festival of horseracing, wood chopping and flip-flop throwing.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Autumn Colours Program

    Friday 27 April 2018 to Sunday 13 May 2018 , Bathurst

    Autumn is traditionally the time when the Bathurst region focuses upon its rich and fascinating past, with many of the region’s historic sights brought to life through a series of tours and activities. These provide a rare opportunity to go…

    27 Apr - 13 May
  2. Bathurst Farmer’s Market

    Saturday 28 April 2018 to Saturday 27 April 2019 , Bathurst

    A Lions Club of Bathurst Project. Wander through the pavilions and sample or buy fresh regional produce. The market’s aim is to encourage stalls with goods that are grown and / or produced within the Bathurst and Central West Regions. Loca…

    28 Apr - 27 Apr
  3. Bathurst Half Marathon

    Sunday 29 April 2018 , Bathurst

    The Bathurst Half Marathon and 10 kilometre run is a fast, flat event, usually run in cool conditions in the friendly town of Bathurst. It is well known as the best free sausage sizzle in NSW, which also includes a running race. Cash pr…

    29 Apr