Gold Rush Day 2 Hill End – Sofala

Piping hot bacon and egg rolls, cooked over the campground BBQ, were best consumed in an improvised campground squat stance. Our crispy, crackling breakfast done, and our tents packed, we headed for Merlin’s Lookout.

Henry Beaufoy Merlin was an Englishman who arrived in Australia with his mother at 18. He became well-known as a travelling photographer, using a covered cart, pulled by a horse, as a darkroom. He was commissioned to photograph parts of NSW with a view to the images being used abroad to encourage immigration, including what became known as Merlin’s lookout - a breathtaking view over what was, at one time, known as "the richest quarter mile in the world".

In our case it was a fairly handy view of some derelict gold mines across the valley.

As the light and our energy faded, we finally found ourselves in the tiny town of Sofala.

We purchased what can only be described as the most expensive VB in New South Wales, and held our two tributes; to Monaghan and that most unfortunate kangaroo.

Some locals gave us unwanted campground advice before sharing their thoughts on the new NSW bike laws: “I didn’t escape from the Stasi only to be faced with laws like these!”. Kids these days!

The campsite had few luxuries, but it did have a rather friendly kelpie to help keep us entertained by the firelight.

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Over Yonder is adventure by bicycle - and cyclocross racing on the side. Curated for travellers, explorers & outdoor aficionados. Brought to you by a thirst for the unknown.

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