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Origin and History of the Name Australia comes from the Latin word Australis, which means “of the south” or “southern.”
Origin and history of the name Legends of an “unknown land of the south” (terra australias incognita) were common as far back as Roman times.
Origin and history of the name References to Australia were common in medieval geography. There was no evidence at the time of Australia. The Dutch East India official called the newly discovered land (1638) Australische. The first use of the word “Australia” in English was in 1693.
European Exploration Many Europeans claimed to be the first to discover Australia. French navigator BinotPaulimer de Gonneville in 1504 (actually landed in Brazil) Spanish expedition commanded by Pedro Fernandez de Quiros and piloted by Luis vaez de Torres in 1605 (actually landed in New Hebrides, now known as Vanuatu) Portuguese expedition led by Cristóvão de Mendonça in 1522 None can be confirmed.
The Dutch The first undisputed European sighting occurred in 1606 by the Dutch. The Dutch vessel Duyfken, captained by Willem Janszoon, explored the coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria. They Dutch made one landing, were promptly attacked by the Aborigines, and abandoned further exploration.
The Dutch The Dutch charted all of the western and northern coastlines of “New Holland”. On November 24, 1642 , Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania which he named Van Diemen’s Land. Van Diemen was the head the Dutch East India Company, Tasman’s employer. Tasman claimed Van Diemen’s Land for the Netherlands.
The British The first Englishman to see Australia was William Dampier, a former pirate. He made two voyages around Australia (in 1688 and 1699) before returning to England. He was the first European to report Australia’s unusual, large, hopping animals
The British In 1770, Captain James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast of Australia. He named it New South Wales and claimed it for Britain. It became a prison colony.