Abel Tasman

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Tasman, Abel Janszoon (1603 - 1659)

A Dutch seafarer and explorer, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 (in the service of the Dutch East India company) during which he 'discovered' (from a European perspective) the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand. He also mapped substantial portions of Terra Australia Incognita - the great unknown southern continent (now known as Australia).

Tasman has both Tasmania and the Tasman Sea (between New Zealand and the Australian mainland) named after him, yet at the end of his career he was regarded very poorly by his superiors, due to the negligible financial returns of his explorations.

Relevant links http://www.lexicon.net/world/tasman/bhouse.htm
: a transcript of a paper on the voyages of Tasman, read to the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1895.