Farmer and sailor
Abel Tasman (1603–1659) joined the VOC in 1633. He had grown up in a farming family in the village of Lutjegast, in the north of the Netherlands. Tasman learned sailing from a young age, like many other men in this region, where the sea was never far off. Once he joined the VOC he moved rapidly up to skipper and decided to move, with his family, to the VOC headquarters in Batavia (current day Jakarta, Indonesia). He took part in several expeditions, but the one to the Unknown South Land (1642–1643) would make him famous. At his death in 1659 in Batavia, he bequeathed a sum to the poor in his birthplace Lutjegast.
In his hometown Lutjegast, the name Tasman is omnipresent. From the local ice skating club to the Abel Tasman Museum. Lutjegast is part of the municipality Grootegast. In 2018 this municipality will be combined with others in the new municipality Westerkwartier. The village of Lutjegast is situated by lush green countryside and is a popular destination for hiking and cycling. A recurrent outdoor event is the biannual – Abel Tasman Struuntocht. To learn more about the many activities in and around Lutjegast, check out our events calendar.