With the increasing growth in the ageing population of Australia, providing older adults with suitable housing has become a significant focus of policy and practice. Retirement villages are a type of housing that delivers specialized accommodation for older people. Although previous research focused on a variety of topics concerning Australian retirement villages, a systemic overview of the development of the industry is still lacking. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to deliver an overview of its development. Considering the scarcity of data regarding the industry, secondary data collected from various sources are analysed to present the whole picture. It is found that, although the industry has grown gradually in past decades, it is currently still in a formative stage. Its development is confronted with various issues and challenges including affordability, inadequacy of social and physical environment settings, low penetration level and challenges from the unique requirements of ageing baby boomers, technological applications and sustainability, and the lack of policy support. This paper provides a platform for researchers and industry stakeholders to plan for the future development and growth of this sector.