Experience the magic of the gold rush era as you uncover the hidden gems of Sofala – from camping under the stars to enjoying a cold beer at the local pub.
Located just a short drive from Bathurst, Sofala is a quaint, historic village that captures the essence of quintessential Australia. With its gold rush-era heritage buildings, picturesque streets, and classic Aussie pub, Sofala is a must-visit destination for those seeking to step back in time.
There’s plenty of camping and bushwalking for outdoor enthusiasts, plus a few charming farm stays for a more indulgent visit. Take a day trip or pack your bags to relish in this relic of history.
A day in Sofala
A forty-minute drive from Bathurst, you’ll find the tiny town of Sofala, a nostalgically historic and typically Australian village with a population of just 200. On a walk through town, you’ll discover picturesque streets, buildings from the gold rush era, a classic wooden pub, and the old Sofala gaol.
Take in picturesque sights in the gold-rush town of Sofala. (Image: Destination NSW)
Continue exploring the Upper Turon, another 20 minutes away, and you’ll find remnants of the gold rush, including diggings, gravestones, buildings and a Chinese miner settlement.
Pan for gold in the Turon River. (Image: Destination NSW)
Nature lovers can head south towards Wattle Flat and enjoy a five-kilometre walk through the Aussie bush on the Buurree Walking Trail. This circular trail is marked by yellow triangles and takes about two hours at a leisurely pace. Take in picturesque views of Sofala and the Turon Valley from the ridgeline and admire the many native bird species.
Swoon over the scenic views of the Turon River and the town of Sofala. (Image: Destination NSW)
Sofala art and artists
Wandering around Sofala, you might feel as though you’ve stepped into an old Australian painting that perfectly sums up the picturesque yet harsh landscape of the region. Sofala has long been a source of inspiration for artists, with many of them capturing the essence of the town and surrounding natural landscapes through their work.
As you explore the village you might even find that you recognise the streetscapes from the famous Russell Drysdale painting, Sofala. Described by the Art Gallery of NSW as ‘an expression of the quintessential qualities of an inland Australian country town’ the painting won the Wynne Prize in 1947. Works like this help cement Sofala’s place in Australian art history and showcase the beauty and charm of the region.
Visit History Hill Museum & Underground Mine to discover Sofala’s awe-inspiring history. (Image: Ribbon Gang Media Agency)
The Pub – Royal Hotel Sofala
The Royal Hotel Sofala is a classic but unique old, rustic, Aussie pub that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You probably won’t run into many tourists on your visit, but you’ll likely have a chin wag with the locals. There’s a bistro serving basic meals, and you can sit in the cosy indoor area, outside under the trees with the kangaroos or in the beer garden. It’s a humble reminder of the good old days that’s well worth a visit.
Have a pint or two at the vintage Royal Hotel Sofala.
For those seeking an adventurous and immersive experience, Sofala offers plenty of options for caravanning and camping enthusiasts.
There are five free campgrounds to choose from, all dotted around Sofala close to the river, with plenty of sites on offer, and four that are caravan-friendly.
Coles Bridge Campground is right by the water, with some sites accessible by caravan but no toilets. Sofala campsite (Crossley Bridge Reserve) is close to the river, town, and public toilets. Ration Point is peaceful with undercover picnic areas and tank water available. First Crossing Camping Area (Greenpoint) is a spacious site with toilets (the only one). All are pet-friendly and allow firepits.
Set up your tent next to the river at Camp Crudine.
For paid camping with all the bells and whistles, you can choose from Wattle Flat Heritage Lands for $5 a night with plenty of flat camping spaces, toilets, BBQs, and picnic areas.
Camp Crudine is a 32-hectare private property eight kilometres from Sofala that can be booked through Hipcamp for $24 per person. It’s 4WD access only and sits along the river boundary offering a beautiful and secluded nature immersion with toilets and a camp kitchen available.
Head to Camp Crudine for a nature escape.
For a less rustic experience, there are a few homesteads and Airbnbs to choose from. Chesleigh Homestead is a bed-and-breakfast style farm with lovely, cosy rooms on a beautiful 1214-hectare property with horses, caves, mountain lookouts, bushwalks, a pool, and everything you need for a comfortable, relaxing stay. Ryder Homestead is a little more rustic and rural with several quirky cabins to choose from.
Have a relaxing stay at Glendaire Farmstay for much-needed R&R.
On Airbnb, you can book a big, beautiful, three-bedroom cottage at Glendaire Farmstay that has everything you need for an indulgent stay on a beautiful, 809-hectare property with farm animals, swimming, and all the necessary mod cons.
The 20 Mile Cottage is a slightly more humble option offering a lovely country outlook and two bedrooms in what was originally an old miner’s cottage.
settle into 20 Mile Cottage during your stay in Sofala.