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Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer and explorer best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644, in the service of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). His was the first European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand. He also mapped substantial portions of other parts of Australia.

His task was to investigate the country then known as New Holland, now known as Australia, of which the Dutch had already discovered the west coast, and to determine whether it was part of Terra Australis. It was hoped by the VOC that he would thus locate a new unexploited continent for trade.

From the point of view of the VOC, Tasman's explorations were a disappointment: He had neither found a promising area for trade nor a useful new shipping route. For over a century (until the era of James Cook), Tasmania and New Zealand were not again visited by Europeans. Australia was visited, but usually only by accident.
 
 
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer and explorer best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644, in the service of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). His was the first European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand. He also mapped substantial portions of other parts of Australia.

His task was to investigate the country then known as New Holland, now known as Australia, of which the Dutch had already discovered the west coast, and to determine whether it was part of Terra Australis. It was hoped by the VOC that he would thus locate a new unexploited continent for trade.

From the point of view of the VOC, Tasman's explorations were a disappointment: He had neither found a promising area for trade nor a useful new shipping route. For over a century (until the era of James Cook), Tasmania and New Zealand were not again visited by Europeans. Australia was visited, but usually only by accident. More...

 
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