Harrismith is a large town in the Free State province of South Africa. It was named for Sir Harry Smith, a 19th-century British governor and high commissioner of the Cape Colony. It is situated by the Wilge River, alongside the N3 highway, about midway between Johannesburg, about 275 km to the north-west, and Durban to the southeast. The town is located at the junction of the N5 highway, which continues westward towards the provincial capital Bloemfontein, some 340 km to the south-west. This important crossroads in South Africa's land trade routes is surrounded by mesas and buttes. It is located at the base of one of these called Platberg (i.e. "flat / flat-topped mountain" in Afrikaans).