Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 03 December 1825 (Colony of Van Diemen’s Land): The island of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) was first colonized by the British in 1803 and quickly became the primary penal settlement in Australia—a position it would hold until it ended convict transportation fifty years later (Convicts in Australia). In 1825 Van Diemen’s Land became a separate colony from New South Wales (Colony of New South Wales), but antagonism between settlers and Aboriginal Tasmanians led to six years of brutal warfare (Black War) and the eventual resettlement of the few remaining Aborigines on offshore Flinders Island.