Colonel Peter Egerton-Warburton CMG, a British explorer, was the first European to cross the Great Sandy Desert, which he did between 1873 to 1874. In 1874, British-born Australia explorer Ernest Giles named the Gibson Desert after a member of his party, Alfred Gibson, who became lost in the desert and presumably died. In 1875, Giles became the first European to cross the Great Victorian Desert, which he named after the then reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. Later, in 1891, David Lindsey, an Australian exporer born in Goolwa, South Australia, conducted an expedition that crossed the Great Victorian Desert from North to South.
There are very few settlements in the subregion but the margins of this region support some economic activities, these include mining e.g. Telfer Gold Mine and Nifty Copper Mine, pastoralism, tourism and Indigenous art.