Ask many people who they think will win the Rugby World Cup, and they will give you a shortlist of one – New Zealand. Even if their heart says Australia, their head will probably decide that the superpower of world rugby have all the tools to do it again, though they won the 2011 final against France very narrowly, 8-7.

The next time the All Blacks play, impress (or depress!) your friends with these ten Kiwi facts you may not have known. If you knew these already, well, no-one likes a show-off.

1. New Zealand was undiscovered and completely devoid of human beings as recently as 800 years ago.

2. The first man to climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi.

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest.

3. New Zealand produce a huge amount of dairy, making an equivalent of 100 kg of butter and 65 kg of cheese each year for every citizen.

4. Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world’s steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 per cent grade.

Baldwin Street
Baldwin Street – imagine riding your bike up that…

5. No capital city in the world is further south than Wellington

No capital city in the world is further south than WellingtonClick To Tweet

6. People living on the Chatham Island live in the future; with a 11:45 hour difference from the UK, they are the first to greet each new day.

Chatham Islands
Back to the future – the Chatham Islands

7. Of modern countries currently independent, New Zealand was the first to allow women the vote.

8. New Zealand is the only country with the right to put Hobbit-related images on its currency.

9. There are 30 million sheep in New Zealand, outnumbering humans by seven to one.

Sheep. Loads of ’em.

10. Three quarters of New Zealanders living overseas are in Australia.

So now you know! Impress everyone with your knowledge of useless New Zealand facts, or share the wealth by using the buttons below.