During the nineteenth century, the Simpson Desert was inhabited by seven Aboriginal communities, concentrated around the watercourses on the desert boundaries or native wells ('Mikiri's) further into the desert which provided the only permanent source of water.
These wells featured tunnels up to 10 metres long, dug at an angle through sand to water-bearing layers. Many of these wells can still be seen but are no longer functional as they have filled with sand.
Yellow-tops flowering after recent rains in the desert Aboriginal groups living in this area were hunters and gatherers, but they also traded extensively with tribes to the north and south. Ground-edge axes from quarries in Queensland were traded, as were sandstone grinding stones and ochre from the North Flinders Ranges. Some stone implements and workings can be found in the park, but please don't touch or disturb them, as Aboriginal artefacts and sites are protected by law.