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Nelson, New ZealandAbel Tasman National Park History

Abel Tasman National Park | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

Come to Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand and gain an interesting insight into the parks's history.

Abel Tasman National Park History Overview

The Abel Tasman National Park was founded in 1942, named after Abel Tasman the first European explorer to sight New Zealand.

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Early History

Image Soure: Tourism New Zealand. Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson, New Zealand
Abel Tasman National Park
Nelson, New Zealand
Photographer: Gareth Eyres
(www.exposure.co.nz)

Archaeological evidence suggests Maori occupation along the Abel Tasman coast for some 800 years, though Maori legend tells of an even longer occupation of the area.

Archaeological sites have unearthed middens, pits, terraces, defended sites (pa), gardens and stone working floors, each item telling its own fascinating story of the indigenous peoples.

In 1642, Abel Tasman of the Dutch East India Company, anchored off shore from the Abel Tasman coast. After an unpleasant incident with the locals in which three sailors were killed, Abel Tasman set sail and named the area "Moordenaers (Murderers) Bay".

In 1770, Captain James Cook sighted the area through fog and called it "Blind Bay".

In 1826 the area was explored by Frenchman, Dumont D'Urville, who gave many of the bays, islands and other areas names.

European Settlement

Between 1854 and 1857, about 26 pioneering European families lived along the Abel Tasman coastline. The key activities for these families were farming, timber milling and ship-building.

With few roads leading to these settlements, the primary method of transport was via the sea. The sheltered waters of Tasman Bay became a hub-bub of schooners, cutters, brigs and barques.

By the 1930s, European settlers and builders had left this beautiful, but remote area, leaving only holidaymakers and fishermen.

Recent History

In 1942 Abel Tasman National Park was founded, largely thanks to Perrine Moncrieff.

In 2008 an extra 7.9 kilometres squared, including the formerly private land known as Hadfields Clearing, were added to the park.

Abel Tasman National Park Accommodation

Abel Tasman National Park is a popular tourist destination and offers a wide range of accommodation options:

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Useful Abel Tasman National Park Links

To help plan your Abel Tasman National Park holiday choose from the main categories below

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Abel Tasman National Park Region Information


Abel Tasman National Park Tourism Operators

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Featured

 
Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.

Distinction Hotels

Distinction Hotels

Great hotels in great NZ wide locations.