Treecreepers are found across Australia, but are absent from sandy and stony deserts and grasslands. These treeless areas often separate subspecies or populations of one species. For instance, the Great Sandy Desert in northwestern Australia lies between two subspecies of the black-tailed treecreeper (Climacteris melanura). The Nullarbor Plain lies between the southwestern and Eyre Peninsula populations of the rufous treecreeper (Climacteris rufa), though they maintain contact along a thin strip of wooded country on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert. Tasmania has no treecreepers despite having extensive rainforests, eucalypt forests, and woodlands, possibly because treecreepers are poor fliers and Tasmania had less forest when it became isolated from mainland Australia.

Despite its extensive forests, New Guinea only has tree-creepers in some of its mountains. The Papuan treecreeper has an inexplicable gap in distribution of about 250 mi (400 km) in central New Guinea.

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