The N9 begins just south-east of George at an intersection with the N2. It runs concurrently with the N12 through the center of George and then north over the Outeniqua Pass. At the top of the pass, the N12 continues north towards Oudtshoorn, while the N9 turns east to run along the northern side of the Outeniqua Mountains and over Potjiesberg Pass to Uniondale and onwards to Willowmore in the Eastern Cape.
From Willowmore, the N9 travels across the Eastern Cape Karoo through Aberdeen to Graaf-Reinet. From Graaf-Reinet it crosses the Sneeuberge through Naudesberg Pass and Lootsberg Pass to Middelburg, where it meets the N10. The N9 and N10 are concurrent northwards out of Middelburg, but after a short distance the N10 turns north-west towards De Aar. The N9 continues northwards through Noupoort to end at an intersection with the N1 just outside Colesberg.