(146), an island and colony of Britain, lying fully 100 m. S. of Australia, from which it is separated by Bass Strait; about the size of Scotland; the beauty of its mountain and lake scenery has won it the name of "the Switzerland of the South"; extensive stretches of tableland diversified by lakes - largest Great Lake, 90 m. in circumference - occupy the centre; wide fertile valleys stretch down to the coastal plains, often richly wooded with lofty eucalyptus and various pine trees; rivers are numerous, and include the Derwent and Tamar, which form excellent waterways into the interior; enjoys a genial and temperate climate, more invigorating than that of Australia; sheep-farming and latterly mining (coal in particular), and fruit-growing are the principal industries; gold, silver, and tin are also wrought; the flora, as also the fauna, is practically identical with that of Australia; has a long, irregular coast-line, with many excellent harbours; chief exports are wool, tin, fruit, timber, coal, and gold; was discovered in 1642 by Tasman, a Dutchman, and first settled by Englishmen in 1803; the aborigines are now completely extinct; was till 1852 a penal settlement, and received representative government in 1855; is divided into 18 counties; government is conducted by a legislative council, a house of assembly, and a crown-appointed governor; most of the colonists belong to the Church of England; compulsory education is in vogue; is well supplied with railways and telegraphs; was formerly called Van Diemen's Land after Van Diemen, the Dutch governor-general of Batavia, who despatched Tasman on his voyage of discovery.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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