The discovery of gold on the Turon River in 1851 led to the establishment of Sofala. The early township followed the river for over 16 kms with churches, schools, hotels, a court of petty sessions, a hospital and many other businesses servicing this fast growing area. The village also benefited from its position on the main road between Bathurst and the Hunter region and the fact that the gold lasted much longer here than in any other region. Although the population has dwindled since the gold rush times (when it reached 10,000, with 40 pubs to cater for them all), Sofala remains Australia’s oldest surviving gold town. The narrow streets lined with many unique old buildings and the spectacular scenery of the surrounding hills, have attracted movie makers and artists to the area. Fossickers search the river and streams for any gold that might still lie hidden there - and some lucky ones have even struck pay dirt.