Near the Drakensberg escarpment and 210km east of Pretoria, Belfast is one of the coldest places in South Africa. The grassveld district is known for cattle, dairy and sheep farming. The wattle and bluegum plantations are the oldest in Mpumalanga.
The town also boasts a tulip nursery that attracts large numbers of visitors in spring. Coal, black granite, fire clay and kaolin are mined. Large deposits of chrome and iron are found in the area.
Many rivers and streams rise on this watershed. They are clear and cold and are renowned for their excellent trout (and bass) fishing conditions.
Belfast is the railway junction for a branch line through Dullstroom and Lydenburg to Steelpoort.