Tucked alongside the picturesque Turon River in Central West NSW, Sofala is a small historic village that's big on history. Considered to be Australia’s oldest surviving gold rush town, after gold was discovered here in 1851, it's now home to just over 200 people.
Things to do
Take a historical walking tour in Sofala along the pretty streets and see buildings from the gold rush era, including the Royal Hotel, a classic wooden pub, and the Old Sofala Gaol. Explore the Upper Turon for remnants of the gold rush, including diggings, gravestones, buildings and a Chinese miner settlement.
You might recognise the village’s streetscapes from the painting Sofala by famous Australian artist Russell Drysdale. The Art Gallery of NSW describes it as ‘an expression of the quintessential qualities of an inland Australian country town’ and it won the prestigious Wynne Prize in 1947.
Try your luck panning for gold dust in the Turon River. If the river doesn't reward your efforts, you can still throw a line in and reel in some fish. Tours of the goldfields around Sofala with Detour Adventures and Simmo’s Offroad Tours depart from Bathurst.
Head along to the annual Sofala and District Agriculture and Horticulture Show, a fun family event in February. South of Sofala is the village of Wattle Flat, another historic gold rush town. Also, in Wattle Flat, the Buurree Walking Trail is great trail for birdwatching through open woodland, with scenic views of Sofala.
Sofala is a 3h 20min drive from of Sydney and 40min from Bathurst. You can also catch the train to Bathurst and rent a car.