The southern dwarf nova EK TrA has been suggested to show the spectrum of its white dwarf primary in the single available International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) post-outburst spectrum. We demonstrate that this spectrum is still disc-dominated. However, a careful analysis reveals a white dwarf contribution of ~25 per cent of the SWP flux and a white dwarf temperature of T_wd~18000K. Our optical spectroscopy of the system deep in quiescence confirms the flux level of the white dwarf derived from the IUE data. Additional optical emission arises from a cool (T~6500K) accretion disc, possibly extending over the whole Roche lobe radius of the primary. Both optical and UV data yield a distance of d~180pc.