Directed high-speed motion of nanoscale objects in fluids can have a wide range of applications. However, directed movement and high speed in the nanoscale are rarely compatible. Light is a convenient source that can drive nano objects to move by applying optical forces, but they are too weak to enable fast-moving swimmers in fluids. Here, we report ballistic plasmonic Au nanoparticle (NP) swimmers with unprecedented speeds (~397,000 um s-1) realized by not only optical pushing but also pulling forces from a single Gaussian laser beam. The Au NP excited by the laser at the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peak interact with the NP both thermally and optically, leading unique conditions for ballistic movements and “negative” optical forces. The demonstrated ultra-fast, light-driven NP movement may lead to a wide range of nano- and bio-applications and provide new insights to the “negative” optical forces and nano-object manipulation.