The Sofala and Turon Goldfields .

Sofala Township (85kb)

Township of Sofala on the Turon River

Map of Sofala (79kb)
Where Nuggets were found (52kb)
Sofala Royal Hotel (16kb)
Sofala General Shop (72kb)

The amount of gold taken from the area known as Golden Point, Maitland Point and Sheep Station point was enough to determine that this location was to be the initial foundation point of the Township of Sofala, which began in 1851.
At that time it was possible to gain 4 ounces of gold in 10 buckets of wash dirt. Excavations of 18 feet were undertaken at Maitlands Point to retrieve pay dirt from the former river bed. The population was around 5000 prospectors and while many barely made sufficient to pay for food, there was still the occassional large find that kept interests up. Unfortunately the Turon River was the site of sporadic flooding which hampered the efforts of the Miners. On one occassion on December 18th, 1851, a downpour over the tableland at Green Wattle Flat sent a wall of water down Little Oakey Creek. Large Trees were undermined and fell in the river and huge rocks were carried down through Erskine Flat. The Turon rose three feet in fifteen minutes and became dotted with puddling tubs, cradles and two bodies. The prospectors returned to their claims to find that all their work had been covered.
The regularity of flooding was such that a proposal was put forth to dig a canal across the narrow neck of the gulf below Lucky Point. It was thought that this would alter the course of the river allowing the permanently exposed river bed to be "paddocked" and "stripped" of all the gold.
By April 1852, two thirds of Sofala's poulation had given up on the river site and prefered to work on higher ground at Tambaroura.

This info comes from a book called:-
"Sofala Days and Turonites" by John Rule.
It is available from either Prospector's Home, Granville, NSW or Treasure Enterprises of Austrlia, Coopers Plains, Qld.

Recent visitors say the place has still got a fair bit of gold and make sure you go over the ground very slowly. The ground is heavily mineralised so you'll need a detector that can handle that. Something like the XT17000 or XT18000 should do okay. The locals aren't to happy about giving much away so perserverence is the key. If I was going there I'd be trying the bank opposite where Sheep Station Creek meets the Turon.

If you are in this area it would pay to drop by and say hello to Rodney at the Ryder Homestead which runs holiday accomodation at Wattle Flats.

Find out a bit more about the history of Hill End at

There's supposed to be a big gold nugget here

Click on the nugget to go back to The Aussie Prospectors Page"