At the time of European arrival, the Ngaiawang People occupied an area of approximately 388,000 hectares on the Western Murray Plains, in which the park is situated, although no evidence of Aboriginal settlement has been found in the park itself.
Within this area, the river was the main focus of activity, providing a permanent water source and a continuous food supply. Fish were caught in nets and ingenious stone traps, one of which is still preserved in the northern end of McBeans Pound. The river was also a major communication and transport route. Bark canoes were obtained from large river red gums, and several of these canoe trees can still be seen near Blanchetown. The river became the nucleus of settlement as it provided for most needs.
Please refer to the South Australian Museum publication Ngaiawang Folk Province (1977) for further information on Ngaiawang.