Northcliff is a picturesque suburb which, as its name suggests, has been developed along the north-facing slopes of the Koppie that dominates the western approaches to Johannesburg. The suburb is bounded along its northwestern side by 14th Avenue, and it is by this road that one finds the closest on ramp to the N1 highway that skirts around Johannesburg's western suburbs. At the top of the Northcliff Koppie is the Albert's Farm Nature Conservancy, where many species of birdlife can be seen. Northcliff is served by the Cresta shopping mall in Blackheath and by shopping centres at Constantia Park to the west.
Northcliff is well placed for the visitor wishing to see the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam, which are situated just a few blocks to the east of the suburb. The suburb has several schools, both secondary and primary, and is just a few minutes drive away from the Rand Afrikaans University and Wits University.