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Whereis > NSW > Sofala

Map of Sofala, NSW 2795

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.

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.Sofala Public School was established in 1878. There was an Anglican church and a Catholic convent. The Convent opened in 1872 and closed in 1909, although it was a church until 1970.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.

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