Coastline profiles of Tasmania
After tracking the coast along the eastern side of the island for several days, the ships of Abel Tasman’s expedition anchored from 1st of December until 3rd of December 1642 near what is now named Cape Frederick Hendrik in Dunallay, Tasmania. Tasman sent out parties to explore and go ashore to find supplies, especially of drinking water, but this proved difficult to obtain. Despite hearing what sounded like music, and observing smoke, they did not manage to establish any contact. A flag was planted to claim the island for the Dutch. On the 4th of December, the anchors were lifted and the ships continued their journey. Along the east coast the ships observed several islands off the Tasmanian coast, which they named Maria’s Island, Schouten Island and Vandelins Island. The last of these was likely the present-day Freycinet peninsula, which was mistaken for an island.
Isaac Gilsemans, merchant on board the Zeehaen, drew these coastline profiles of Tasmania (Van Diemensland) as seen when sailing along the coast from Maria’s Island to Schouten Island (top) and from Schouten Island to Vandelins Island (bottom).Please contact Nationaal Archief for reuse and copyrights.