After 32 years of tours and activities, Kualoa Ranch wants to make major changes to its special use permit under proposed expansion plans.

The holidays are one of the busiest times of the year at Kualoa Ranch. nearly 4000 acres of conservation and agricultural land in Windward Oahu, that also features outdoor activities and tours.

"There is a lot of interest in getting out and seeing the different things, whether it is agricultural, or cultural. We're restoring taro patches. We're doing a lot of things trying to malama the land properly," said Kualoa Ranch President John Morgan.

Some of the land is used for ATV tours and zip lining.
Part of the reason Perla Herrera and her family were drawn to the activities in this lush landscape.

"We looked at all of the excursions and this looked to be very family friendly for us, so this was our pick. And the venue was amazing," said Herrera, a visitor from Las Vegas.

The Herrera family is not alone in making Kualoa Ranch its destination. On a busy day up to 1,500 people may visit. Visitors critical to keeping the country setting, country.
"All of the tourism activity we have pays for the investing in stewardship and agricultural development here," stated Morgan.

But the ranch is limited in how much tourism can happen. There is a cap on parking it can provide, hours of tour operations, along with numbers of vehicles and visitors. All of which are based on a special-use permit that was issued in 1985.
Instead, Morgan would like those restrictions lifted. 

"We want to do more of the same, what we have already. We're outgrowing the facilities we have. We want a new visitors center, so we can accommodate the visitors a little better," added Morgan.

The plans include re-routing the tour road so it wouldn't begin at the parking lot, as well as improving tour depots, building new offices and a new horseback ride facility.

At the current stable, Australian visitor Michele Entwistle said she came here to get away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.

"It is a whole different feel. It is so busy in Waikiki, to come here and do this it was amazing. Just so you can see the landscape it is stunning, There is so much to Hawaii, you don't just want to stay on the beach," said Entwistle.
Some on the windward side have raised concerns about additional traffic from increased tourist operations at Kualoa Ranch, but Morgan said the expansion won't have much impact on traffic or noise. He stated it is necessary to maintain the land for agriculture, aquaculture and cattle production, "We're trying to preserve this land and we're effective at doing that and taking care of the land."
The expansion plans will go to the planning commission at the end of the month, when members of the public will get a chance to weigh in on the impacts.