The Unknown South Seas from 1642
In 1642, Anthony Van Dieman, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, commissioned Abel Tasman, a sea Captain employed by the Dutch East India Company, to undertake a voyage to the unknown south seas.
Leaving Batavia in August, 1642, Tasman first set a course towards Mauritius, then sailing southwards, and later easterly, he reached, in November, 1642, the west coast of Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen's Land. The names of his ships?Heemskirk and Zeehaen?he gave to two mountains, the first land he sighted.
Two years later, on another voyage, Tasman sailed along the northern coast of Australia from Cape York in Queensland, to North West Gape in Western Australia.
Following Tasman's voyage, the continent of Australia was known as New Holland, even for many years after Captain Cook had named the eastern portion of it New South Wales. The name Australia was not officially recognised until some years after the establishment of the Bank of New South Wales in 1817.