Who we are
Jenny (or Jen) Robb started Kiah Wilderness Tours from December 2014. She was born and bred in Newcastle, northern NSW. Her dad was the Beach Inspector on Nobby’s Beach and her mum had learnt to surf when girls didn’t surf. Life was all about swimming – firstly at the surf, and then when Jen was only 6 years old, a big move 400 miles inland to Griffith. A reasonable sized agricultural town in the Riverina region. No beach but long hot dry summers. So it was lucky Jen’s dad was the new Griffith Olympic Pool Manager. Never a day went by in summer that Jen and her big brother and little sister were out of that pool.
Winter and October school holidays were visiting family and getting their annual taste of salty water. Sport was big in Jen’s school life: hockey, softball, netball – and swimming champ for every year she went to school, both Primary and Secondary. Her High School Certificate was done at Griffith High School, one of the largest regional schools in the state.
When she finished school, Jen won a scholarship to spend 12 months studying in Japan. Returning to Sydney she met and married a man from Eden – a Davidson of the famous whaling family – and settled just out of town on 10 acres at Kiah. 2 kids and a divorce later and Arthur moved onto a nearby property. The rest – as they say – is history. Jen’s most recent job before starting the business was a long term as CEO of the community marine education, research and visitor centre called the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre.
Arthur was born out west on a farm just out of the tiny rural town of Oaklands, about an hour from Albury. Life on the farm involved the usual stuff: milking the cow, handling the sheep, killing snakes, pumping water, swimming in dams and canals, riding bikes, horses and motor bikes. Education was not considered too important but if you want stuff fixed, Arthur is the man. Over the years, he was a mechanic, tree feller, then a concreter for many years. He’s just one of those people who is so capable and that Jen is not the only one who calls on him for help – just about everyone does!
No-one was more surprised at how Arthur took to guiding our guests than he was. Having joined Jen on the Kayak Guide course at Penrith, just to keep her company, he’d come along for an odd tour when he was still working on big job sites.
Eventually he realised paddling a kayak on the river was a much better option than back-breaking work on a building site, so he is now front and centre and a huge part of the operation.