The journey from Australia's eastern New South Wales coast to Perth on its west measures about 2,500 miles. A 12-year-old boy set off to drive it alone, and got ridiculously far. The Australian Associated Press reports the boy was stopped about 800 miles into the drive around 11am Saturday, having essentially traversed the entirety of New South Wales from his starting point in Kendall, near Port Macquarie, over the course of 24 hours. The New York Times gives some American perspective, saying the distance covered "is about the equivalent of making the long and annoying" round-trip drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, "with a few dozen more miles thrown in for rest stops and food."
The child was stopped in Broken Hill due to a dislodged bumper, which was dragging on the ground. Police tell the AAP the damage suggests he was involved in some sort of accident along the way. "He'd taken the family car," police said Monday. "His parents reported him missing immediately after he left home" shortly after 11am Friday. The child is in the custody of his parents, but will likely face charges including driving without a license and not paying for gas; Sky News reports he fueled up around 6am in Cobar. As for how he managed to not raise suspicions for such a long period, Sky News reports the 6-foot-tall boy looks much older than 12. Indeed, the manager of the gas station the child stopped at thought he looked "19 or 20."