Pedro Fernandez de Quiros
Pedro Fernandez de Quiros was a Portuguese explorer who served on Spanish Ships and was obsessed with finding the great southern land - Australia. He was born in 1565 in Evora Portugal. In the 1590's he served as chief navigator to Alvaro de Mendana who led many exploratory expeditions to the south-west Pacific Ocean. At the time Quiros and many European exploreres were convinced of the existence of the great southern land. After the death of Mendana he led the last ship of the exploration to the Philippines.
Quiros finally led his own exploration with three Spanish ships to the Pacific Ocean in 1605. He wanted to find Terra Australis and claim it for Spain and the Catholic Church. He started out from Peru in South America to find this great southern land - a huge land mass in the Southern Hemisphere. Quiros only sailed as far as the New Hebrides or Vanuatu. He founded a colony on Espiritu Santo which he called Nova Jerusalem. After problems with the colony, Quiros sailed back to Acupulco in Mexico in 1606 and then returned to Spain in 1607.
When Quiros returned to Spain, he petitioned King Philip III for money for more voyages of exploration to find the great southern land with its riches of "silver and pearls, which I saw myself, and gold which the other captains saw." He claimed in his petition that the great southern land was as big as Europe and Asia Minor combined. He also claimed that there was an abundance of nutmegs, mastic, pepper, ginger, and cinnamon and cloves.
He was correct about the existence of a great southern land which was Australia of course but as to the extent of it, he was surely mistaked because he assumed that the spice islands of indonesia were a part of it. Later Captain Cook would search for a great south land that was below Australia and New Zealand but find no such thing.