I've only just read these posts, it sounds brilliant!
I'm planning on doing almost exactly the same trip, excluding USA. I travel on 20th Jan, so it's about 1 month after you.
I understand your haste to get everything in, but i agree with the post above which says that 10 weeks is too little in South America.
I've put aside 16 weeks for SA, but then again I do intend to travel south to Patagonia when i arrive from Auckland - Santiago.
I have no clue on spending money, but similar to you i'll be happy to work on occasion.
Enjoy your trip, it's going to be great!
This trip looks amazing....but also very hectic......not sure you will have time to work! I also would query whether that is possible. You need specific visas in most countries to do even casual work.So you will certainly need to budget pretty carefully. Having travelled very extensively over many years I think you may well find you have to cut back as time goes on.You will find New Zealand and Australia will eat up your $'s pretty quickly in petrol and campervan hire alone!Cairns to Melbourne is a very long way!You may find a Bus Pass and staying in Backpackers in New Zealand cheaper than a campervan.
You will need to decide what you most want to see here in New Zealand.You can see quite a bit in 4 weeks but to see the South Island alone properly you really need 5-6 weeks. You won't afford the adventure activities on your budget so need to stick to what is relatively cheap or free.There are still lots of great things to experience.Travel distances are further than people realise and our roads make for slower travel....often windy and hilly....be sure to allow enough time!Check for ideas here -snip-
Hope all goes well.....you have a wonderful year ahead. But try and take some breaks. Travelling non stop loses its gloss if you don't make time to actually experience and enjoy the sights, activities and people along the way. Personally I would be cutting out the States and Canada and spending the time in South America where it is cheaper.You can visit the other places any time.
Happy Travels - Gail
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]