Interesting origins of the name New Zealand

The beautiful country once had a different name meaning 'The Land of the White Clouds'.

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New Zealand is famous for its spectacular natural scenery along with unique local architecture that attracts millions of visitors everywhere. But one thing few people noticed - both tourists and indigenous people - why the name New Zealand?
Interesting origins of the name New Zealand
New Zealand consists of two main parts: North Island and South Island. Photo: Culture Trip.
Usually, world landmarks associated with the word "new" are often named after an old place. For example, New York, New Hampshire, or New England originate from York, Hampshire or England. But New Zealand was once called the Aotearoa by the indigenous Maori (Land of the white cloud).

English is the national language in New Zealand but the British are not the first Europeans to come here. Dutch captain Abel Tasman was the first foreigner to set foot on the land in the 1640s, more than a century before Captain James Cook's voyage.
Interesting origins of the name New Zealand
Wakatipu Lake in Queenstown in the fall. Photo: Queenstownnz.
After a long journey, Tasman and the crew thought they had just arrived at Staten Landt, an island off the coast of Argentina. But two Dutch cartographers, Hendrik Brouwer and Joan Blaeu, discovered that these large islands were not part of South America.

Therefore, Blaeu named the new land Nieuw Zeeland, after Zeeland, the westernmost province of the Netherlands. Zeeland also means "territorial sea" in Dutch.

Although a bit confused about the location of the new land, Abel Tasman is still recognized as the first explorer of this beautiful country. The Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, as well as the famous Tasmanian island, is named after the captain.

By the 1770s, Captain James Cook and the expedition on the journey to draw the Venus road from the South Pacific accidentally encountered Nieuw Zeeland. He gave it an English name New Zealand, a place familiar to everyone from then on.

Interesting origins of the name New Zealand Interesting origins of the name New Zealand Reviewed by Duy Khiêm on October 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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