‘Australia’s Oldest Surviving Gold-Rush Town.’

One of the most interesting and unusual gold mining towns in New South Wales, Sofala is a 40-minute drive north of Bathurst. It is a four-street village packed with history that appears to capture the town snap frozen as if in 1870. Sofala is depicted perfectly by famous Australian artist, Russell Drysdale, in his iconic 1947 award-winning painting of the same name. 

The gold rush may be long over, however gold panning still takes place in the Turon River today. Take a historical walking tour and don’t forget to snap a pic of the famous scene depicted in Russell Drysdale’s art work!

The Royal Hotel

This iconic country town pub is a must visit when heading to Sofala. Open daily from 12 pm to 8 pm - make sure to call in for a cool drink and a round of pool with the friendly locals.

Rebellion on the Turon

A quirky community event held each year where roaming performers re-enact a real rebellion that occurred during the Gold-Rush era between redcoats and miners over wage disputes.

Chesleigh Homestead

A 3,000 acre wilderness property offering quaint and cozy farm stay accommodation with guided horseback trail rides and gold panning tours for guests.

Walking Tour

A great introduction to Sofala. This comfortable self-guided walk takes around 1 hour and points out the notable historic buildings around the tiny town, with a small blurb of history about each.


There are a number of popular free camp sites along the Turon River near Sofala. For full details and maps, please visit our comprehensive page on camping in the Bathurst region.


The days of the gold rush have long since passed, but you can still find gold in the Bathurst region if you know where to look.
Read our top tips for fossicking, with maps and guides showing you where to find gold and the rules about fossicking in NSW. Or if you're new to fossicking, take a gold panning tour with a local expert.