What was Tasmania Originally Called?

Let’s discover the history of Tasmania and what was Tasmania originally called? During the early part of the seventeenth century, Dutch ships sailed from their base in Batavia, searching for fresh markets for trade.

A number of Dutch captains landed on the Australian coast but were not attracted by what they saw. The place seemed empty and barren whilst the natives were ‘wild, black and barbarous’ as well as ‘cruel, poor and brutal’. Nevertheless, the new governor of Batavia, Anthony van Diemen, was anxious to discover new sources of wealth and sent out Abel Tasman to find them.

Tasman was ordered to sail to Mauritius in the south and then east-wards into the Indian Ocean. Tasman, a very experienced seaman, set off with two ships, the Heemskerck and Zekaen.

They reached Mauritius in October 1642 but on putting out to sea again they ran into a series of storms which forced Tasman to alter course to the east so as to gain the steady westerly winds.

These drove him straight to a huge land mass which, in honor of the governor, he named Van Diemen’s Land. Later, to mark his own great ability as a navigator this name was changed to include his own – Tasmania.

What was Tasmania Originally Called

What was Tasmania Originally Called

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