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GBR - Where to base our 3 1/2 day visit

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We are a middle-aged couple coming to Australia for the first time. We are starting off arriving into Cairns at noon on a Sunday and then leaving that area on Friday morning. So we are trying to decide in which area to stay and then which activities in which to participate. We know we want to do a GBR scuba/snorkel day. And at least either Daintree or Kuranda rain forests...perhaps both Then we'll have another 1 1/2 days to fill in...suggestions?? So the decision is whether to stay in Cairns (by the esplanade or in the close suburbs), in Palm Cove, Cape Trib or Port Douglas. Any guidance would be most appreciated!!

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