Four children aged 10 to 14 packed fishing rods in a parent's SUV, left a farewell note then drove more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) down the Australian east coast before they were stopped by police the next day, an officer said on Monday.
When the children were stopped by police near Grafton in New South Wales state at 10:40 p.m. Sunday, they locked the doors and refused to get out, Acting Police Inspector Darren Williams said.
A police officer used a baton to break a window of the Nissan Patrol, that had been reported stolen, Williams said.
Police were not sure which child or children drove or why they left Rockhampton in Queensland state on Saturday. The children are a 14-year-old boy, two 13-year-old boys and a 10-year-old girl.
Williams said they possibly shared the driving.
The children are suspected of failing to pay for gas at stations in two towns, Williams said.
They were also chased by police in the New South Wales town of Glen Innes, where a 13-year-old was suspected to be driving, Williams said.
Police have yet to interview the children because they cannot be questioned without a parent or guardian being present.
Williams said they will be charged, but did not list the alleged offenses