According to the Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names, "This bay, with its rich marine resources, was an important First Nation habitation site, both for the Klahoose (Coast Salish) people and for the Lekwiltok (Kwakwaka'wakw), who controlled the area in later years. An old portage trail crosses Quadra from the bay to Small Inlet. There are fine examples on Waiatt Bay of what are known today as 'clam gardens,' an early form of aquaculture in which clam beds were seeded and tended. The name is usually translated as 'place where herring spawn' and should be pronounced WU-ad, according to First Nation informants. It appeared on Admiralty charts for many years as Wyatt Bay, which was also the post office name, 1913-46. Moses Ireland, a well-known logger in the region, bought land there in 1884. A general store was in operation on one of the nearby Octopus Islands prior to WWI and lasted until about 1940. A few handloggers lived in the area, as well as a boatbuilder and the manager of the Wyatt Bay Fish Oil and Fertilizer Co. The south shore of the bay is part of the 760-hectare Octopus Islands Provincial Park, established in 1974."
Access to Waiatt Bay by foot is possible by taking the Newton Lake trail from Granite Bay to Newton Lake. Near the northwest corner of the lake is a well-marked trail leading down to Small Inlet. The "old portage trail" mentioned above has been maintained. To see the clam gardens requires timing your visit with a low tide. The Quadra Island Outdoor Club estimated in 2015 that the Granite Bay-Waiatt Bay roundtrip is 14 kilometres long and takes about 5.5 hours.