10 Interesting Facts about Abel Tasman

These following facts about Abel Tasman should probably give you much information about this figure. Abel Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC (United East India Company. He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen’s Land and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji island. His navigator François Visscher, and his merchant Isaack Gilsemans, mapped substantial portions of Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Islands. Furthermore, to get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Abel Tasman you might be interested in.

Facts about Abel Tasman 1: First Pacific Voyage

Abel Tasman was born in 1603 in Lutjegast in what is now the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. In 1633, Tasman went to Batavia in service of the VOC; four years later he was back in Amsterdam. Tasman signed on for another ten years and took his wife along to Batavia.

Facts about Abel Tasman 2: Unknown Provinces of Beach

In August 1642, the Council of the Indies, consisting of Antonie van Diemen, Cornelis van der Lijn, Joan Maetsuycker, Justus Schouten, Salomon Sweers, Cornelis Witsen, and Pieter Boreel in Batavia despatched Abel Tasman and Franchoijs Visscher on a voyage of which one of the objects was to obtain knowledge of “all the totally unknown provinces of Beach”.

Facts about Abel Tasman - Abel Tasman
Facts about Abel Tasman – Abel Tasman

Facts about Abel Tasman 3: Tasmania

On 24 November 1642 Abel Tasman sighted the west coast of Tasmania, north of Macquarie Harbour.He named his discovery Van Diemen’s Land after Antonia van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Proceeding south he skirted the southern end of Tasmania and turned north-east, Tasman then tried to work his two ships into Adventure Bay on the east coast of South Bruny Island where he was blown out to sea by a storm, this area he named Storm Bay.

Facts about Abel Tasman 4: New Zealand

After some exploration, Tasman had intended to proceed in a northerly direction but as the wind was unfavourable he steered east. On 13 December they sighted land on the north-west coast of the South Island, New Zealand, becoming the first Europeans to do so.

Facts about Abel Tasman - Abel Tasman National Park
Facts about Abel Tasman – Abel Tasman National Park

Facts about Abel Tasman 5: The Return Voyage

On route back to Batavia, Tasman came across the Tongan archipelago on 20 January 1643. While passing the Fiji Islands Tasman’s ships came close to being wrecked on the dangerous reefs of the north-eastern part of the Fiji group. He charted the eastern tip of Vanua Levu and Cikobia before making his way back into the open sea.

Facts about Abel Tasman 6: Second Pacific Voyage

With three ships on his second voyage in 1644, he followed the south coast of New Guinea eastwards. He missed the Torres Strait between New Guinea and Australia, and continued his voyage along the Australian coast.

Facts about Abel Tasman - Routes
Facts about Abel Tasman – Routes

Facts about Abel Tasman 7: Council of Justice

On 2 November 1644 Abel Tasman was appointed a member of the Council of Justice at Batavia. He went to Sumatra in 1646, and in August 1647 to Siam (now Thailand) with letters from the company to the King.

Facts about Abel Tasman 8: Remaining Years

On 5 January 1651 he was formally reinstated in his rank and spent his remaining years at Batavia. He was in good circumstances, being one of the larger landowners in the town.

Facts about Abel Tasman - Tasman Map
Facts about Abel Tasman – Tasman Map

Facts about Abel Tasman 9: Tasman Map

The original Tasman Map is held in the collection of the State Library of New South Wales.  The map shows a general outline of some parts of the coastline of Australia. The map is also reproduced in the marble floor of the Mitchell Library entry foyer.

Facts about Abel Tasman 10: Death

He died at Batavia on 10 October 1659 and was survived by his second wife and a daughter by his first wife. The poor in Lutjegast received the small amount of only 25 guilders (about a month wage for one craftsman).

Facts about Abel Tasman - Tasman Peninsula
Facts about Abel Tasman – Tasman Peninsula

Hope you would find those Abel Tasman facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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