Welcome – and Farewell

The year of marking the 370th anniversary of Abel Tasman’s 1642/43 voyage of exploration in the southern oceans is now over. This final message, which will run until December 2014, suggests ways in which you can find out more about Abel Tasman’s connection with New Zealand.

In one way the AT370 year ended on 7 January 2013, the anniversary of Tasman’s departure from New Zealand waters. That was the day after he had seen people standing on the clifftop of the islands he named Eijlant Drie Coninghen (Three Kings Islands, see image below) marking the Christian calendar’s observance of Epiphany (6 January, Twelfth Night). There, yet again, they were unable to land.

It had been three weeks since they had first sighted the high mountains of the South Island on 13 December 1642. Three weeks that brought a coastal passage up the west coast to what is now Golden Bay; the confused confrontation with Maori who were there; sheltering from a storm in the lee of Rangitoto / d’Urville Island for Christmas week; exploring the waters of what would later come known as Cook Strait, before following and charting the western coast of the North Island.

Journals, charts and images provide us with an insight into their experiences. It was and is a unique milestone in our recorded history. New Zealand and its indigenous people had been put on the world map and this led later voyagers to our shores.

But that’s another story.

Maybe you are interested in looking a little further into the history of this first meeting of two worlds, Maori and European, or wondering what occurred during the 370th commemorations in 2012/13?

Here are two sources you may like to check out:

'Abel Tasman 1642’ website

www.abeltasman.org.nz - A new website, established to make a contribution to understanding the significance of Abel Tasman in the shared Maori-European history of New Zealand.

Archived copy of the AT370 website

The National Library of New Zealand’s National Digital Heritage Archive (NDHA) database. Click here and then follow the link at the bottom to access the archival copies.

Thank you for your interest.

Penny Griffith
Coordinator, AT370

Eijlant Drie Coninghen (Three Kings Islands), the final of seven New Zealand images in Tasman's account of their New Zealand experiences. Manuscript held at State Archives, The Hague, Netherlands.

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