NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia – Four adventurous children aged between 10 and 14 packed a stolen family car with fishing rods and took off on an epic 600-mile road trip along the Australian coast, authorities have said.
One of the children left a goodbye note for their parents before leaving for the mammoth journey, which ended several hours later when police tracked down the parked car along a highway in New South Wales, authorities told CNN.
The kids likely shared driving responsibilities during the 930-kilometer (578-mile) trip from Rockhampton in Queensland to Grafton in New South Wales, police added, after taking a four-wheel-drive Nissan Patrol car belonging to one of their parents.
The runaways were taken into custody at 10:40 p.m. on Sunday evening (8:40 a.m. ET) and could now face charges.
“It’s a pretty big journey. It’s a long way for a person to do it, but I suppose a couple cans of Red Bull and you’re likely to do anything,” inspector Darren Williams told CNN affiliate Nine News.
Police triangulated a cell phone signal to find the vehicle, Williams said. “When we got there, they wouldn’t open up … they’ve come under notice because of illegal behavior, doing drive-offs at petrol stations,” he added.
Missing person appeals were made by police in Queensland after the children were reported missing.
The journey made by the youngsters usually takes more than 10 hours, hugging the eastern Australian coast line and crossing through the cities of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.