The most direct route between Hobart in the south and Launceston in the north is via the Midland Highway. The road follows much the same route built by convict labour in the early 1800s and this early history has left its mark with something of interest for everyone.   Life for the 70,000 convicts transported to Tasmania was relentlessly brutal, yet despite this, their skills and labour produced outstanding examples of architecture and design across the state, many of which can still be found along Tasmania's 'Heritage Highway'.   Just off the highway are the historic towns of Kempton, Oatlands and Ross, each offering fascinating examples of early Australian architecture. The historic village of Kempton near Hobart has a charming collection of colonial homes, cottages, shops and taverns, all found along the main street.