From Cairns, boats travel daily to Green Island, Fitzroy Island and the outer reef where visitors can peer through a diving mask or a glass-bottomed boat at numerous species of coral and marine life.
A short distance northwest of Cairns is Kuranda, a village in the rainforest that makes a great daytrip. Inland from Kuranda is farming country and the Atherton tablelands.
Most travellers head north from Cairns to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree rainforest and stop at Port Douglas. Cooktown is as far north as most independent travellers go, as roads north of there require 4WD vehicles.