Roughly 85 miles south of Cairns, the Mission Beach area is home to the largest wild population of cassowaries—the dinosaur-like rainforest creatures whose numbers have plummeted to just a few thousand. The best way to see these endangered flightless birds is to walk slowly through the World Heritage rainforest, or just hang out on the palm-tree-perfect beach and wait. After “twitching” (birdwatching), get a closer look at the technicolor fringe reefs on a fishing excursion, or on a diving trip with Mission Beach Dive. If the little ones are in tow, Charley’s Chocolate Factory is a must. Two-hour tours cover the entire chocolate-making process from growing cacao on-site to making the decadent bars, which visitors can taste and take home.