Van Diemen's Land was the original name used by most Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia.
The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman 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 southeastern portion 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 1798-99.
1663 map of Van Diemen's Land, showing the parts discovered by Tasman, including Storm Bay, Maria Island and Schouten Island.In 1803, the island was colonized 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.