Abel Tasman was born in Lutjegast, Netherlands in 1603. In about 1633, Tasman entered the Dutch East India Company and sailed as an able seaman for Batavia (now Jakarta), and by May he became the skipper of the Dutch East Indies merchant vessel.
In 1642, Tasman was appointed by Anton Van Diemen, the Governor-General of Batavia at the time, to explore the rich southern and eastern lands supposedly existing in the Pacific, in the hope of finding gold and silver. At first Tasman discovered the Van Deiman's Land, naming it after the Governor-General and taking possession for Holland. As he continued to travel east, he discovered New Zealand. He returned to Batavia in June 1643 having also discovered a trade route to the Pacific and South America lying south of the Australian continent.
On his second voyage in 1644, Tasman established that Eendracht Land (Western Australia) and Carpentaria (Queensland) were a part of a single land mass separated by sea from New Guinea and the East Indies. His discoveries and calculations were to form the basis for the following explorations of James Cook .Tasman later died comfortably in 1659 aged 56. Van Deiman's Land was later named after him in 1855 in honour of his discovery.
Home | Bibliography