Day tripping is a fun way to feel like you are on holiday without leaving home. Best of all, depending on where you go, it doesn't even have to cost you anything apart from petrol. The first step is to pick your destination - a good guide for a day trip is no more than an hour's drive each way from home - pack yourself and your loved ones in the car, perhaps with a picnic lunch, and head off. So whether you are looking for something to do this weekend, or you're in town for the school holidays, check out our list of the top 10 day trips in and around the Illawarra. The hardest thing will be working out which one to do first. Read more: What's on in the Illawarra Symbio Wildlife Park at Helensburgh has been a hit with young and old alike since it opened in 1975. Nestled on 16 picturesque acres of manicured gardens, Symbio is home to Australia's favourite native fauna as well as exotic animals, including cheetahs, ring-tailed lemurs, red pandas, meerkats, monkeys and more. There are also behind-the-scenes experiences available with some animals or you can visit the farmyard precinct and get close to goats, sheep, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks and more. Visitors can get up close and personal to animals during one of the close encounter experiences, such as feeding a kangaroo or cuddling a koala, for an additional price. Details: Symbio is open every day except Christmas Day from 9.30am to 5pm. For more information click here. Read more: Six of the best bushwalks for kids in and around the Illawarra to try these summer holidays It didn't gain the highest spot for the Illawarra region in the Lonely Planet travel guide, Ultimate Australia Travel List, for no reason. The 665-metre long Sea Cliff Bridge on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Coalcliff, is a highlight of the 140-kilometre Grand Pacific Drive, which stretches from the Royal National Park at Loftus all the way to Nowra. The bridge has become an icon not just for Wollongong but the world, with tourists flocking to see it for themselves since it opened in December 2005. While some people opt to drive across the bridge, the best way to take in the view is on foot from the pedestrian walkway. There is even a viewing platform from where you can really take it all in. Just three minutes drive from the bridge you will find The Scarborough Hotel, perched on the Illawarra escarpment's cliff edge, overlooking the ocean. The hotel has held a special place in the hearts of locals, history buffs and visitors alike since it was first established in 1886. Claiming to be the oldest licensed premises in the region, it is deeply significant to the local area. The old mining town of South Clifton was even renamed 'Scarborough' in 1903 in honour of the hotel, which was the centre of community life. The hotel itself is warm and welcoming, and is family and even dog-friendly. There are various areas, including the popular outdoor garden. This is a pokies-free establishment, with patrons instead flocking to the family-run hotel for the view and the fine drinks and food that is brimming with local produce. There is also a café providing lighter options and coffee, and a gelato-bar. The hotel trades only during the day, with no evening service, and is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Details: For The Scarborough Hotel click here. The Royal National Park borders the Illawarra to the north. The 151-square-kilometre park is the oldest national park in the country and the second oldest national park in the world outside Yellowstone in the US. It was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2006 in a nod to its breathtaking and wide-ranging landscapes, from open grassland to oceanfront clifftops. One of the most popular walks is the Bundeena Drive to Little Marley Beach walk. The eight-kilometre return trip takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours and leads you through heath, past the freshwater Deer Pool and creeks and on to scenic beach views. You can head along the Curra Moors Loop track, walk to Wises track, or tackle the Coast track - an epic 26-kilometre one-way trek from Bundeena to Otford that will take two days to complete in its entirety. Along the way you will enjoy incredible coastal lookouts, swimming spots and seasonal wildflowers. There are a number of pools and waterfalls you can visit in the park, including Karloo Pools, which is a popular swimming and picnic spot. The famed Figure Eight Pools are also located in the park and are located on a rock shelf close to the ocean near Burning Palms beach. Remember to check for Alerts and plan your trip before you go. Details: Click here. Fitzroy Falls is a village in the Wingecarribee Shire, located within the Southern Highlands region of NSW. The area was actually named after the 81-metre waterfall of the same name, which is located inside Morton National Park. Considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Australia, it plunges dramatically into the untouched valley 81 metres below, and the area is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. First stop when visiting is the award-winning Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the area's history, Aboriginal culture and wildlife. A short walk later along a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk and you will find yourself taking in the scenic view of the waterfall from one of the escarpment lookouts. Those eager to stretch their legs further can follow the West Rim, East Rim or Wildflower walking tracks. Pack a picnic lunch or bring some snags to throw on the barbecue at the Fitzroy Falls picnic area, where you'll be able to hear the waterfalls in the distance. Keep an eye out for the resident lyrebirds or swamp wallaby. Afterwards, head back to the visitor centre café for a coffee and cake, and buy a souvenir of your day. Before you head home, why not stop off at Grandpa's Shed in town and hunt out an antique or bargain. Details: Click here. Nan Tien Temple at Berkeley is not only Australia's largest Buddhist temple but the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Founded in 1965 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, it is one of 200 branch temples of Fo Guang Shan, an international Chinese Buddhist monastic order that promotes 'Humanistic Buddhism', placing an emphasis on integrating Buddhist practices into everyday life. "Nan Tien" in Chinese means "Paradise of the South" and after a few hours here it is easy to see why. Whether you want to just enjoy the peace of the temple itself, or take in the gardens or lotus pond, many visitors report coming away with a renewed sense of peace and calm. There is an onsite dining hall which is open to the public from 11am-2pm Tuesday to Friday and 11am-2.30pm on weekends and public holidays. It offers a variety of healthy vegetarian foods based on traditional and modern recipes. There is also a tea house serving exotic teas, coffee and lunch in a tranquil setting with views of the garden and Buddhist artefacts. The temple offers a range of retreats and classes, including one-day meditation retreats. Before visiting the temple, it is best to read-up on the many guidelines, which can be found here. Details: Open 9am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday, and public holidays. For more information click here. There is nothing quite like seeing the grapes on the vine to signal you have arrived at a vineyard, and there are a few to choose close to the Illawarra. Two Figs Winery at Berry is a boutique winery which has picked up awards including the region's best small cellar door. The winery was established in 2003 by Shayne and Alison Bricker. Shayne left behind life as a corporate IT high flyer in the US before settling in Australia in search of a new lifestyle. After settling on their property in the Shoalhaven, he decided to "make a bit of wine as a hobby," and the rest, as they say, is history. The winery now produces around 5000 cases of premium, hand-crafted wines every year using fruit sourced onsite, including their chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon vines, and from nearby wine-growing areas. It has a cellar door experience with seated wine tasting that you can pair with a local produce plate while taking in the breathtaking views. If you still haven't had enough, and have a designated driver, why not join the Southern Highlands Wine Trail. Details: Click here. Located just half an hour from the centre of Wollongong is the coastal town of Kiama. Best known for its blowhole and little blowhole - the two cliffside caverns where seawater shoots into the air, the columns of Cathedral Rocks, or the beach which offers calm waters for swimming. There are also plenty of other things to do and see there. Why not traverse the coast walk, or take a stroll around the harbour then pay a visit to the Pilots Cottage Museum, which traces the town's maritime history. Or simply browse the many shops or grab a bite in a cafe or restaurant. Details: Click here. The largest family-owned and operated water theme park in NSW, Jamberoo Action Park offers world-class rides and attractions in a well-maintained, natural setting. A look at the attractions and it is easy to see why a visit to Jamberoo is a must. There is a selection of rides for all ages and abilities. Young children will love Billabong Beach, Kiddies Cove, Banjo's Billabong and the Mushroom Pool, while thrill-seekers will love the Funnel Web, The Taipan, The Perfect Storm, and the newest ride, Velocity Falls. Other attractions include Rapid River, The Rock, Surf Hill, Outback Bay wave pool, and land-based attractions such as a chairlift, bobsled, train ride and mini golf. Those wishing to make a day of it can enjoy a picnic lunch, hire a barbecue, or buy food and drinks from one of the seven onsite vendors. There are also a number of huts and shelters for rent so you can sit back and relax while the kids go wild. Details: Click here. If you have ever wanted to get a bird's eye view of the world, ziplining may be for you. Ziplining involves being suspended by a harness attached to a zipline or wire. The wire is attached to two points and is sloping, which means you are able to fly from A to B. Illawarra Fly's Zipline tour offers eco-wilderness adventurers a unique way to view the magnificent Illawarra rainforest - by soaring through the trees. During the tour, you will tackle three flights and two suspension bridges, and visit four cloud stations. It takes one to one and a half hours to complete. There is even an after-dark zipline tour. While you are there, you can try the Treetop Walk - a 1.5-kilometre trek through a beautiful warm temperate rainforest along a 500-metre steel walkway located 20 to 30 metres off the ground. The walk culminates at Knights Tower, a spiral tower that rises 45 metres above the forest floor. You can then traverse two swaying springboard cantilevers suspended 25 metres above ground, which takes you to the edge of the escarpment. Details: Visit illawarrafly.com.au. Craft beer and ale lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to breweries. There are at least a dozen right here in the Illawarra, while a short drive into the neighbouring Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands regions will find even more. Stoic Brewing at Gerringong is a family-owned and operated brewery started by a local father and son, Steve and Andrew in 2018. They had a vision to create a space where the community could come together and enjoy locally brewed beer and cider amongst the vats. They have a large range for sale both in cans and on tap. Food vans are regularly onsite to serve up a feed while live music is also a fixture, making it a great day out. Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content. Download The Illawarra Mercury news app in the Apple Store and Google Play.