The children, a 12-year-old girl, two 13-year-old boys from Queensland and a 14-year-old boy originally from Grafton, were found in the stolen Nissan Patrol parked off the Gwydir Highway at Jackadgery.
"[The children] locked themselves in the auto and police have had to use a baton to get into the vehicle to arrest them", he said, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
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.
Queensland police said the vehicle was spotted early on Sunday morning in the outback town of Banana, where the kids allegedly stole petrol, before travelling south.
"It is a long way.so I couldn't imagine one person driving all that way", Acting Inspector Darren Williams told reporters in Coffs Harbour on Monday.
While we're certainly not condoning the alleged theft of petrol, it takes pretty big balls to decide to drive across two states with a few of your underage mates.
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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.
A/Insp Williams said the children are expected to be charged with traffic offences following further inquiries.
The second 13-year-old is described as 160cm tall with black hair and hazel eyes.
Charges are expected to be laid once police have had the chance to interview the children which can't be done until their parents are present. "That vehicle contained four juveniles" A/Insp Williams said.
He did not know what the children had written in the note that was left in Rockhampton.
Motorists must be aged 17 or older to be eligible for a licence in Queensland and New South Wales.