Profession: Explorer and Seafarer
Why Famous: Tasman was the first person to sight New Zealand, Tasmania (which he originally named Van Diemen's Land) and the Fiji Islands during a voyage in 1642.
- 1642-03-12 Abel Tasman is the 1st European to sight New Zealand, viewing the north-west coast of the South Island
- 1642-11-24 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)
- 1642-12-13 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland
- 1642-12-18 Abel Tasman's expedition sails around Farewell Spit and into Golden Bay, first sighting local Māori in New Zealand
- 1642-12-19 4 of Abel Tasman's crew killed at Wharewharangi (Murderers) Bay by Māori; Tasman's ships depart without landing