Last year's Australian Open winner was to have played here 12 months ago, but a combination of injury plus the sheer shock of lifting a first Grand Slam title kept him away.
Now, the 29-year-old, whose ranking has slipped to ninth after going out in the Melbourne semi-finals to Novak Djokovic, has come good on his vow to shake up his scheduling.
"I haven't played indoor in February for ten years," said Wawrinka, who lost in the 2005 second round here to Roger Federer.
"I used to play in South America and the last few years I haven't played in February," he said.
Wawrinka said he was excited to be back.
"It's important for me to come to play here," he said.
"It is a great tournament, a good indoor court."
Federer said that after arriving on Sunday afternoon, he has already had two training sessions at the Ahoy Stadium.
He said mixing and matching his calendar serves a good purpose.
"It's good to change a bit, to see some new tournaments," he said.
"Even if I played here before, it was so long ago — it's also good to stay mentally fresh."
Wawrinka, who stands behind Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and holder Tomas Berdych in the seedings, will open in the first round against Dutch number 250 Jesse Huta Galung, whose best showing at home was reaching the second round three years ago.