Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer who in 1642 became the first European known to have visited New Zealand. He named the land he had encountered "Staten Landt", as he believed it might be linked to a Staten Landt in South America. The following year another Dutch navigator showed that the South American Staten Landt was a small island, not part of a continent, so cartographers changed Tasman's name to Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. Captain Cook anglicised the name to New Zealand, and that's stuck, although we now sometimes call our country "Aotearoa [land of the long white cloud] New Zealand".
It's an odd accident of history that our country has been named after an area that's physically so different, but these days New Zealand very much has its own identity.
New Zealand is a land of mountains and lakes, coasts and forests. It's the setting for my books, and it's my home.
|Bay of Plenty|
|Beech forest, Te Anau|
|Blue Pool, near Wanaka|
We've reached the end of the challenge! Thank you for your company on the journey.