What was a historical European name for Australia?
New Holland is a historical European name for mainland Australia.
The name was first applied to Australia in 1644 by the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman. The name came for a time to be applied in most European maps to the vaunted "Southern land" or Terra Australis even after its coastline was finally explored. By that time Antarctica named in the 1890s in such maps was the only area, still in largely speculative form, which resumed the name Terra Australis, as had been speculated on in some maps since the 5th century under the theory of "balancing hemispheres".
British settlement in Sydney as a colony in 1788 prompted its east formally claimed by Britain, as New South Wales, leading to a search for a new collective name as New Holland remained unsettled by the Dutch, whose colonial forces and buoyant population had a settled preference for South Africa, Dutch Guyana, the Dutch East Indies and the Dutch West Indies. New Holland continued to be used semi-officially and in popular usage as the name for the whole land mass until at least the mid-1850s.