Sofala, New South Wales
Sofala is a village in New South Wales, Australia, 255 kilometres (158 mi) north-west of Sydney, within Bathurst Regional Council. It is located beside the Turon River. Sofala is just off the Bathurst-Ilford Road, with only local traffic through the town itself. At the 2006 census, Sofala had a population of 208.
New South Wales
Denison Street, the unusually narrow main street of Sofala
|Population||208 (2006 census)|
|LGA(s)||Bathurst Regional Council|
Sofala came about as a direct result of the gold rush which had been spurred on when Edward Hargraves discovered gold at Summerhill Creek on 12 February 1851. By June of that year, thousands of people had set up mining operations in the valley, and both the Royal Hotel and a general store were built in 1851 to handle the increased demand. Initially, gold was found in the area known as Gold Point on the Turon River. When the alluvial gold ran out, mining turned to quartz reef mining. The town was a centre of opposition to the gold licensing system in New South Wales at the time. A considerable proportion of the miners were Chinese.
The Gas Hotel was one of the first two hotels licensed, in 1851. The Royal Hotel was established in 1862. There were also two other hotels in 1866, Sofala Inn and Barley Mow. The Barley Mow having a Cobb and Co booking office.
Now a private residence, the Post Office and telegraph office, built in 1879 operated until 1989.
Attractions today include the gold-rush-era Sofala Royal Hotel and the old gaol. Small-scale gold workings are still active in the town. Sofala has been reported to be the oldest surviving gold-rush town in Australia. There are still gold prospectors who pass the time using metal detectors, gold pans, and sluice boxes to recover small quantities of gold dust.
A noted business is Finglinna Studios, which supplies stained glass to churches and other public buildings.
Sofala has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Authentic Gold Rush era establishments
e.g The Sofala Royal Hotel (est.1862)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Sofala (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
- Mudgee District History: Sofala; Sofala, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 Dec 2008.
- B. Hickson, Chinese in Sofala, Mudgee History.
- Sofala Public School.
- Mudgee District History: Churches in Sofala
- The Village of Sofala
- Sofala Royal Hotel
- "Sofala". Collection. Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- Finglinna Studios
- "Grave of Windradyne". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01714. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Bridge over Turon River at Wallaby Rocks". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01458. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- Old Sofala Gaol
- Turon Technology Museum
- Tanwarra Lodge
Media related to Sofala, New South Wales at Wikimedia Commons