Mariner's Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20)


The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is an official nautical publication. This publication provides mariners with important regulatory, procedural and environmental information affecting the planning and conduct of a voyage to, or from, Australian ports, or within Australian waters. It includes a summary of all relevant information from various Australian government agencies under the cover of one combined reference, with links to further information if required.

The publication includes:

  • Major Australian maritime legislation and regulations, and responsible agencies
  • Marine Protected Areas, regulations and responsible agencies
  • Coastal Pilotage arrangements
  • Torres Strait and Great Barrier Reef shipping routes, accident and incident reporting
  • Maritime Safety Information, meteorological broadcasts, Warnings, search and rescue
  • Ship Reporting Systems - AUSREP and REEFVTS
  • Maritime security, Customs, biosecurity, quarantine and immigration
  • Australian trading ports – Pilots, boarding arrangements, arrival and departure notification requirements, VHF Channels and port contact details
  • Mariners guide to interpreting the accuracy of depth information in Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC)
  • The regional climatic environment
  • Key contact information for each relevant government agency and links to further information
  • Important information relating to the accuracy of charts, Zones of Confidence (ZOCs) and effects of over-scaling in Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS).

AHP20 Cover


The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is an official nautical publication. Official nautical publications are those issued by, or on the authority of, a Government authorised Hydrographic Office or other relevant government institution. The Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) is Australia’s national charting authority and publishes official nautical publications of the Australian Charting Area.

For details about carriage requirements of nautical products in Australian waters for SOLAS and NSCV regulated vessels, visit the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) website ( and refer to Marine Orders and Marine Notices.


The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters is published as a PDF publication which may be downloaded from our Product Downloads page.

The AHO has ceased printing paper books.


Updated information is included in the Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters as it is received and verified. Any updates will be published via Australian Notices to Mariners.

Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters users should subscribe to eNotices to be notified by email when new updates are available to download, or monitor Australian Notices to Mariners.

Instructions on how to update printed copies are included in the Australian Chart and Publication Maintenance Handbook.