This warm sea was discovered by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642, while looking for Terra Australis (the Southern Land). On this voyage he become the first European to reach the islands of Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga, and Fiji. The area was not visited again until James Cook’s voyage in 1768. On a later voyage, in 1644, Tasman succeeded in finding the continent of Australia. The Tasman Sea has a subtropical climate in the north, but the influence of cold sub-Antarctic water makes it temperate in the south.
- Area 890,000 square miles (2.3 million square km)
- Maximum Depth 19,500 ft (5,945 m)
- Inflows Southern Ocean, Coral Sea