Story: Charting the sea floor

Abel Tasman's Staten Landt

Abel Tasman's Staten Landt

Abel Tasman was the first European to map New Zealand’s coast in 1642–43. He named the place he discovered Staten Landt, thinking it was part of South America. His chart is oriented with north to the left and south to the right. The most readily recognisable feature is the curve of Farewell Spit (middle right). There are no depth soundings on the chart, but it is clear that Tasman knew that the area around Farewell Spit was shallow, as he has marked sandbars there.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl-830a/1642(1726)/Acc.32129

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Lionel Carter, 'Charting the sea floor - First charts of New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/map/5952/abel-tasmans-staten-landt (accessed 27 May 2019)

Story by Lionel Carter, published 12 Jun 2006