Abel Janszoon Tasman was born in the Netherlands in 1603. He signed up with the Dutch East India Company and left for the east to fulfill a three year contract.
On 13th August 1642 Tasman received instructions to find the mysterious and supposedly rich Southern Continent, which had been eluding and tempting explorers for centuries.
This unknown land, Terra Australis Incognita, was said to stretch across the Pacific.
Tasman’s instructions were to take possession of all continents and islands discovered and set foot on in the course of his voyage on behalf of the States-General of the United Provinces”.
On 13th December 1642, the coast of New Zealand came into view, and Tasman noted in his journal “a large land, uplifted high”. Tasman named this land “Staten Landt”, which refers to the “Land of the Dutch”.
The area of New Zealand which Tasman sighted was in the vicinity of the coast between…
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