By far the most interesting and unusual gold mining town in New South Wales, Sofala, a 40-minute drive north of Bathurst, is a two-street village with an authentic old-world charm. Captured perfectly by famous Australian artist, Russell Drysdale, in his iconic 1947 award-winning painting of the same name, while the gold rush may be long over, gold panning still takes place in the Turon River today as part of guided tours. Take a historical walking tour and don’t forget to snap a pic of the famous scene depicted in Russell Drysdale’s art work!
Things to Do
- Try your hand (and luck) at gold panning along the Turon River. Let the knowledgeable folks at Simmo’s Off Road Tours (50 George Street, Bathurst, 0415 641 343) guide you to the best spots.
- Discover all you need to know and more about steam powered engines of the 20th Century at the Turon Technology Museum (5833 Ilford Road, Sofala, 02 6358 8434). The exhibitions are spread across the seven buildings with guided tours available.
- It would be a crime not to dine at the Old Sofala Goal Cafe (Barkley Street, Sofala, 02 6337 7192) while you’re in town. This quaint country café is also a museum with remnants of the gold rush in every little corner and fantastic food and beverages, from homemade scones, to locally roasted coffee and your traditional big brekkie..
Annie’s Ice Cream Parlour in Bathurst CBD has named one of their most popular ice cream flavours after this town. Visit the retro ice creamery and look out for Sofala’s Gold.