Tasmania's rural & mountainscape Scenery
by Chris Chalk
The state is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first reported European sighting of the island on 24 November 1642. Tasman named the island "Anthony van Diemen's Land" after his sponsor Anthony van Diemen, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies. The name was later shortened to Van Diemen's Land by the British. It was officially renamed Tasmania in honour of its first European discoverer on 1 January 1856.
Tasmania was sometimes referred to as "Dervon", as mentioned in The Jerilderie Letter written by the notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly in 1879. The colloquial expression for the state is "Tassie" (pronounced "Tassie"). This name is often used in advertising campaigns, for example by the Bass Strait ferry, Spirit of Tasmania. Tasmania is also colloquially shortened to "Tas" (pronounced "Taz"), especially when used in business names and website addresses. TAS is also the Australia Post abbreviation for the state.
Tasmania (abbreviated as Tassie) is an island state 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the Australian continent, separated by the Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania, the 26th largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of 507,626 (as of June 2010), of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart (Capital City) precinct. Tasmania’s area is 68,401 square kilometres (26,410 sq mi), of which the main island covers 62,409 square kilometres (24,096 sq mi).