On this day Monday, 24th November, 1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania, naming it Van Diemen’s Land.
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer and explorer born in 1603 in the Netherlands. After joining the Dutch East India Company he was instructed to explore the south-east waters in order to find a new sea trade route to Chile in South America. On 24 November 1642, he discovered a previously unknown island on his voyage past the “Great South Land”, or “New Holland”, as the Dutch called Australia. He named it “Antony Van Diemen’s Land” in honour of the High Magistrate, or Governor-General of Batavia. The name was changed to Tasmania in 1855, many years after British colonists settled Australia.
The State Library of New South Wales holds a copy of Tasman’s journal from 1642.
Abel Tasman - Journal titled `Extract Uittet Journael vanden Scpr Commandr Abel janssen Tasman, bij hem selffs int ontdecken van’t onbekende Zuijdlandt gehouden’, 1642-1643.