By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 13, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates an Island first sighted by some guy named Tasman…thus Tasmania.

Last Settled

The two main islands of this nation were the last larger land masses to be settled by humans, about 750 years ago, when the Polynesians made it here.

The first European to sight the South Island, and yes, the other large island is cleverly called the North Island, was Dutchman Abel Tasman on December 13, 1642.

We are, of course, talking about New Zealand.

The Kiwis, as the locals are called, were the first to allow women to vote.   Unrelatedly, but interestingly, they also generate nearly 50% of their electricity from renewable hydroelectric power plants.

In sports, this island nation is probably best known for its All Blacks, the national rugby union team.  Before a game they perform the haka, a challenge full of rigorous movements including stamping of the feet.  The dance originates with the native Maoris.

Black’s map of New Zealand with Australia’s Tasmania in the inset (named after the same fellow who discovered New Zealand for the Europeans) is presented here from 1892.  

New Zealand – circa 1892

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.