Abel Tasman

Explorer and Seafarer Abel Tasman

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.

Died: October 10, 1659

Events in the Life of Abel Tasman

  • 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

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