Dutch explorer and navigator Abel Janszoon Tasman discovered the island of Tasmania in 1642 but named it something quite different from what we know it as today. Tasmania was originally known as Van Diemen's Land, named after the governor of the Dutch East Indies who had sent out Tasman's expedition.
The island's original population, now extinct, was a Negrito people numbering about 2,000 at the time of European settlement early in the 19th century.
Permanent European settlement consisting of free persons and convicts dates from 1803 at Risdon. Port Arthur, the site of the tragic massacre in 1995, was one of the first convict prison built in Australia.
The island had been a part of the New South Wales colony from 1803 to 1825, but then became a separate colony. The island's name was changed from Van Diemen's Land to Tasmania 1856, the year of its first elected Parliament.
In 1901, like many of the other states, Tasmania became a state in the Australian Commonwealth.
[AUSTRALIA] - [NSW] - [NT] - [QLD] - [SA] - [TAS] - [VIC] - [WA]