Abel Tasman Monument

Immediately past Limestone Bay is the Abel Tasman Monument. The monument sits on a high promontory on the bay's edge, with a short, steep loop track up to the main viewpoint. It commemorates the European discovery of New Zealand by Dutch sailor Abel Janszoon Tasman in 1642, for whom the drive and nearby national park are named. Tasman's discovery was over 130 years before James Cook and a few hundred after Maori seafarers.

There is a large car parking area below the walk to the viewpoint. It’s easy to overlook this walk, but the views are superb, and you should take the time to go through the loop.

The monument is an oddity in NZ – being a tall sharp edged modernist rectangular obelisk, designed by Austrian refugee architect Ernst Plischke. There is also an excellent panel describing Abel Tasman’s visit to NZ.

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