The original Special Publications 9 Handbook – The Australian Tides Manual – was published in 1984 and a revised web enabled version followed in 2004. As the title suggests, it provided operating procedures to be followed by operators of tide gauges on the Australian "National Network" – those stations that provide data for tide predictions at standard ports and secondary ports. In the twenty years since it was published, there have been a number of changes in measurement technology, communications and procedure, which now makes a new version of SP9 necessary.

Like the original SP9, this book is written for the Australian user. As various governments worldwide define legal boundaries differently and have different procedural guidelines for tide gauge maintenance, datum control etc., many of the procedures which are described herein may not be appropriate elsewhere.

This document brings together in a single, user-friendly form, a large number of existing sources of information on the measurement of tides and tidal currents. To some extent it is intended to enable the reader to quickly find the most relevant and up–to–date information.

This document contains numerous links to documents in html and PDF (Adobe reader required) formats, such links are blue and underlined. If the user already has Reader on their computer the document will be opened automatically, but otherwise, they will be prompted to obtain a (free) copy from Adobe.