In 1642, Anthony Van Diemen, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, commissioned Abel Tasman, a sea captain employed by the Dutch East India Company, to undertake a voyage to the unknown south seas. Leaving Batavia in August, 1642, Tasman first set a course towards Mauritius, then sailing southward, and later easterly, he reached in November, 1642, the west coast of Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen's Land. The name of his ships - Heemskerck and Zeehaen - survive in the names of two mountains, the first land he sighted. Two years later, on another voyage, Tasman sailed along the northern coast of Australia (which became known as "New Holland") from Cape York to North West Cape.
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