Picture: Newspress.

Broken Hill, Australia – Police who stopped a car on an outback road in Australia were astonished to find a 12-year-old boy behind the wheel – attempting to drive 3200km across the country.

The youngster was pulled over while he was already 965km, or 14 hours, into his marathon trip from the east coast to Perth in Western Australia.

The route, starting from Kendall, New South Wales, would have taken him through inhospitable conditions, including the Nullarbor Plain where little more than native animals and small shrubs survive in the sweltering heat.

Australia’s official tourism site advises taking six days to cross the plain.

It also advises drivers to "carry extra petrol and plenty of water and food".

Police stopped his car, near the outback town of Broken Hill, because the vehicle’s bumper was dragging on the road. They are now questioning the boy and have not revealed his name or the circumstances surrounding the trip.

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