Van Diemen's Land
was the original name used by most Europeans
for the island of Tasmania
, now part of Australia
. The Dutch
was the first European to land on the shores of Tasmania. Landing at Blackman's Bay and later having the Dutch flag flown at North Bay, Tasman named the island Anthoonij van Diemenslandt
in honour of Anthony van Diemen
, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies
who had sent Tasman on his voyage of discovery in 1642. Between 1772 and 1798 only the South East of the island was visited. Tasmania was not known to be an island until Matthew Flinders and George Bass circumnavigated it in the Norfolk
In 1803, the island was colonised by the British
as a penal colony
with the name Van Diemen's Land, and became part of the British colony of New South Wales
. In 1824, Van Diemen's Land became a colony in its own right.
for Van Diemen's Land was 'Van Diemonian', though contemporaries used Vandemonian
, possibly as a play on words relating to the colony's penal origins.