Luís Vaz de Torres (fl. 1605-1607), Spanish navigator. In 1606 he showed that New Guinea was separated from Australia by sailing west along the south coast of New Guinea, through the strait which bears his name. The result of this expedition was not known to other navigators until 1762 when the Scots geographer, Alexander Dalrymple, discovered, in Manila in the Philippines, a letter from Torres to the King of Spain. The letter, dated 12 July 1607, records the route taken and includes observations of the people and terrain of the south coast of New Guinea. Almost nothing is known of Torres’ life outside the years 1605-07.