Emil's Pole position

A trip to the South Pole would be the trip of a lifetime for many people.

For Cronulla resident Emil Weber, 84, it was just one of many trips in a lifetime of travel.

Mr Weber, a member of Caringbah Rotary, made the journey to the South Pole last month, fulfilling a promise he made to himself more than 20 years ago.

The journey was the culmination of a lifetime of travel to all corners of the world.

Mr Weber's travels came about by accident.

"I immigrated from Germany in 1955 and worked for two years up in the Snowy Mountains Scheme as a boilermaker," he said.

"Then I broke my foot at work and they couldn't fix it so I decided to come back to Sydney.

"I had all this time to think about what I wanted to do with my life. I decided to see the world.

"I had a home in Germany and sold that and bought a vehicle and saw the rest of the world."

During this time he spent months in the Amazon jungle, visited Russia, and drove from Egypt through the Nubian desert into Kenya and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

The best of many experiences was travelling through the South Pacific, living with the locals and hunting, diving for fish, he said.

"I met some really interesting people in my travels. In Hawaii I was a movie extra and met Elvis Presley when he was making Blue Hawaii. He was slim and good-looking in those days.

"I travelled for a total of six years and then came back to Sydney and started my own structural engineering company," Mr Weber said.

But over the years, even after he married Elizabeth and settled in Cronulla, he kept travelling with the aim of visiting every country on earth.

"I have no favourite country. I found every country was interesting to experience," Mr Weber said.

But there was one last challenge he set himself.

"I am at the end of my travels and but I wanted to go to the South Pole," Mr Weber said.

"I had been to the North Pole 20 years ago and promised myself that one day I would visit the South Pole."

Last month Mr Weber flew to Chile and then to Puerto Montt in the south of the country where he joined an Antarctic expedition.

"It is expensive and difficult to get there and not many people do it," he said.

"The atmosphere was 50 below zero. Only man exists there. There's no flies, no birds, no animals when you are inland, only on the coast."

Now settled back in Cronulla, Mr Weber said there may be more travels but they will be closer to home.

"My wife wants to go on little trips but no expeditions," Mr Weber said.