A 12-year-old boy who was trying to drive across Australia has been stopped by police, more than 800 miles into his journey.

The boy had managed to reach the town of Broken Hill in the New South Wales Outback on Saturday 22 April after a patrol noticed the car's bumper dragging on the ground.

Officials said the boy had been attempting to drive almost 2,500 miles from Kendall to Perth, Western Australia.

He was arrested and taken to Broken Hill police station.

The boy's parents had reported him missing and picked him up on Sunday.

The journey from Kendall to Broken Hill involves driving hundreds of miles along highways which pass through barren parts of the Outback. The whole route to Perth would have taken about 40 hours, if travelling non-stop.

Local media reported that the boy managed to evade suspicion partly because he looks much older. The manager of a petrol station in the town of Cobar was quoted as saying that he looked "maybe 19 or 20". Police also said the boy was "about six foot tall" (1.8m).

"He'd taken the family car," Det Insp Kim Fehon told the Australian Associated Press. "His parents reported him missing immediately after he left home, so they were looking for him."