BEACHES in Queanbeyan are a missing feature for many local surf and sand enthusiasts.
However in property developer Henry Halloran's proposed city plans for the region, railways were the secret intended to join Canberra to Jervis Bay.
Halloran's designs for the city haven't surfaced since, but will be showcased in the latest A Capital Idea exhibition at The Q this month.
Curator Bridget Sant is currently living in Jervis Bay herself, and travelled to Queanbeyan to promote her latest project Thursday that took her over a year in consolidating.
"If these plans had been built around Queanbeyan it would've been much bigger. He was planning sub-divisions for hundreds and thousands of people," Ms Sant said.
Had the development of two new cities at Jervis Bay and settlements along the Queanbeyan and Canberra border (to be known as Environa and Letchworth) been established, a larger Capital would have been the result.
Jervis Bay Territory is the smallest of its kind in Australia, home to only an estimated 377 people, and although administered by the NSW government, it is classified as a division of the ACT.
"The reason why we have the ACT in Jervis Bay is because the land that's now the Booderee National Park is part of the ACT," Ms Sant said.
Adopted from Britain's garden city movement during the 19th century and North America's City Beautiful, if Halloran's ideas had come into fruition the Australian capital could have replicated a more cosmopolitan image.
"Because of World War I and the Great Depression he held little land in either area, so the cities didn't end up being built," Ms Sant said.
Structurally the architecture was inspired by bollards and relics from the first HMAS Sydney dating from 1911-1927, with the collection now located at the Lady Denman Maritime Museum.
"He had family connections to HMAS Sydney 1, so he built the stonework, and decorated it with artefacts he collected from it. He did an enormous amount of stone work on the sight which is still there building gateways and magnificent walls and pillars," Ms Sant said.
The exhibition will mark the centenary and 175th anniversary of Queanbeyan.
A retired school teacher, Sant revels in the history that has up until this point been hidden away.
"Locals will be amazed the vision of this one man and the energy that he inflicted. Not only are the plans only concentrated on a small section - he had huge plans for the coast of NSW," she said.
"How wonderful Jervis Bay would have been if it had twinkling city lights,"
* A Capital Life is showing at The Q Exhibition Space, Queanbeyan. September 6 - 28. Monday-Friday 10am to 4pm. Saturday 10am to 3pm.