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This 15-hectare (37-acre) coral cay is just 27 km (17 miles) east of Cairns. You can rent snorkel gear, windsurfers, and paddle skis; take glass-bottom-boat trips; go parasailing; take an introductory or certified dive; walk vine-forest trails; or laze on the beach. The beach is coral sand, so it’s a little rough underfoot. Day visitors have access to one of the Green Island Resort pools, its main bar, the casual or upscale restaurants there, and lockers and showers. Ask the beach staff to recommend the best snorkeling spots. The island has a small attraction called Marineland Melanesia ([tel] 07/4051 4032; www.marinelandgreenisland.com), where you can see old nautical artifacts, a Melanesian artifacts collection, a turtle and reef aquarium, and live crocodiles, including Cassius, at 5.5 meters reputed to be the largest croc in captivity in the world. Admission is A$18 for adults, A$8 for kids 5 to 14; croc shows are at 10:30am and 1:30pm.

Great Adventures ([tel] 07/4044 9944; www.greatadventures.com.au) and Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises ([tel] 07/4051 0444; www.greenisland.com.au) run to Green Island from Cairns. Both offer a range of half-day and full-day trips with lots of options. Half-day trips with snorkel gear or a glass-bottom-boat cruise with both companies cost from A$84 for adults and A$42 for children 4 to 14. Both pick up from hotels in Cairns, the northern beaches, and Port Douglas for an extra cost.