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Sofala, 45km north of Bathurst, claims to be Australia’s oldest surviving gold rush town. The village was established in 1851 when alluvial gold was discovered in the Turon River. In the early days, the township followed the Turon River for more than 16km. The population numbered in the tens of thousands and more than 50 hotels and other businesses catered for those seeking their fortune. Today, Sofala still exudes the evocative vibe of those gold rush days. The village’s narrow streets are flanked by historic two-storey brick buildings. Visitors can find accommodation, campgrounds, cafes, a general store, walks and tours. Artist Russell Drysdale famously captured Sofala’s quirky streetscape in a painting that won the prestigious Wynne Prize in 1947. Don’t leave without trying your hand at panning for gold in the Turon.