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Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Diane Watson

The statue and fountain commemorate the Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman who named Van Diemans Land. A rough-hewn plinth of white rock showing the Southern Cross in bronze is partially surrounded by a white concrete fountain with two bronze ships sailing in it. On the other side stands a full size bronze figure of Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603 - 1659).

Abel Janszoon Tasman (1603 –1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He was the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen`s Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.

On 24 November 1642 he sighted the west coast of Tasmania probably near Macquarie Harbour. The land was named Antony Van Diemen`s Land after the Governor-General of the Dutch Indies.

Proceeding south Tasman skirted the southern end of Tasmania and turned north-east until he was off Cape Frederick Henry on Forestier`s Peninsula. An attempt at landing was made but the sea was too rough. The carpenter, however, swam through the surf and planting a flag took formal possession of the land on 3 December 1642.

Tasman had intended to proceed in a northerly direction but as the wind was unfavourable he steered east, and on 13 December sighted land on the north-west coast of South Island, New Zealand.


Address:Salamanca Place, Hobart, 7000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.886343
Long: 147.331654
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Artist:Stephen Walker A. M. (Hobart, TAS)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 27th October, 1988
Front Inscription

Plaque :

"All continents and islands which you shall discover, touch at, and set foot on, you will take possession of on behalf of their high mightinesses of the states general of the united provinces, which uninhabited regions or in such countries who have no sovereign, may be done by erecting memorial stone, or by planting our prince flag in sign of actual occupation seeing that such lands justly belong to the discoverer and the first occupier." Abel Tasman's instructions before sailing from Batavia.

On November 24th 1642 Tasman discovered land unknown to any European nation and gave it the name of ‘Anthony Van Diemans Landt’ in honour of the Governor General of Batavia. A landing party came ashore several days later (at what is now Blackman Bay near Dunalley). A second landing party took possession for the Dutch by planting the flag. After this ceremony the ships left to sail eastward discovering ‘Staten Landt’ (New Zealand) and other Pacific Islands before returning to Batavia where Tasman died in 1659.

Plaque :

In the Bicentennial Year 1988 the fountain was inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

27th October 1988

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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