Harrismith, named after Sir Harry Smith who was a British governor of the Cape Colony is a large town in the Free State province of South Africa. It is situated by the Wilge River, on the N3 highway approximately midway between Johannesburg, about 300 km north-west, and Durban. The town is at the junction with the N5 highway, which continues west towards the provincial capital Bloemfontein, around 340 km south-west. This important crossroads in South Africa's land trade routes is surrounded by mesas and buttes and located at base of one of these called Platberg.
This town is one of the oldest in the Free State with a rich history dating back to prehistoric times. The town was established due to the location’s strategic position, and was used as a major base by the British during and after the Anglo Boer War. Founded in 1849, British Governor Harry Smith tried to persuade disillusioned Voortrekkers not to abandon Natal. The town named in his honour is now an important crossroads in South Africa’s land trade routes. With game farms and water sport at the nearby Sterkfontein Dam, the leisure options in this picturesque town are endless. Harrismith is a gateway to the Drakensberg Mountains, and whether you choose to stroll through it’s foothills, or enjoy a drive along the various spectacular mountain routes, you will find the magnificent scenery unforgettable.